Reprinted from: EMR Daily News | February 3, 2011
It has been said that the best product ideas come from the needs you have in your own business. If so WebPT™, the brainchild of co-founders Heidi and Brad Jannenga is likely to become an even bigger success.
Heidi, who in 2006 was running a good-sized physical therapy (PT) clinic, was spending nearly $10,000 each month in medical transcription costs. As a tenured outpatient physical therapist she was familiar with the idea of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and wondered if using an EMR system could help to reduce those transcription costs.
She knew she’d need help understanding and evaluating the different EMR systems available at that time so she turned to Brad for assistance. Brad, who she was dating at the time, was an accomplished technologist with a history of developing successful web applications. He could understand the technology and advise her on the best possible EMR product options.
The two of them spent enough time researching the market to realize that there was not a single product on the market that they felt really met the specific needs of the growing physical therapy market. There were a number of EMR systems available, but few were web based and none were developed to meet the specific needs of the physical therapy clinic. Armed with that knowledge they set out to build their own solution.
Brad spent considerable time following Heidi and other therapists as they worked with patients. This allowed him to get an in depth understanding of therapist workflow before he began designing the product. Combining that workflow information with Heidi’s understanding of what she wanted in a product they designed and developed their web-based system from the ground up to work specifically in a PT environment.
“The record keeping needs of a physical therapist are unlike those in a physicians office”, explained Heidi. “Physical therapy requires several weeks or even months of treatment where rehabilitation progress needs to be measured and noted over time. The therapist needs to be able to move around the clinic with the patient noting progress directly into the system, rather than scribbling notes onto a sheet of paper that would need to be entered manually later in the day.”
Based on that need for therapist mobility Brad specifically designed a product that would allow the therapist to enter data at the “point of care” rather than writing notes on paper for end of day entry into a tracking or billing system.
The physical therapy market has responded enthusiastically to the product and WebPT has acquired nearly 1,000 clinics as customers since the product was launched in 2008. Even more impressive is their 99% customer retention rate.
WebPT is an “All-in-one” Electronic Medical Records system for physical therapists. The product design allows users to focus on what is important to them which is patient care and their business, not paperwork and IT systems. Key features of the product include documentation support, scheduling, practice management and billing. All of these features work together to provide an EMR system designed specifically for the workflows, clinical requirements and regulations unique to physical therapy practices.
WebPT’s Documentation feature addresses the largest single issue faced by therapists by streamlining the workflow process resulting in compliant, defensible, legible and efficient documentation. The documentation feature includes standard templates for initial exams, re-exams, progress notes, daily notes, discharge summary, digital exercise flow sheets and chart notes. Data is entered through a user-friendly point and click interface that can be used while working directly with the patient, at the point of care. WebPT offers free, unlimited faxing and emailing of documentation so patient information can be sent directly to referring physicians for entry into their EMR systems.
The scheduling, practice management and billing functions are equally robust and combine to create a compete solution that is not only cost effective, but one that is easy to use, efficient, accessible from anywhere and focused exclusively on the PT industry.
The market for physical therapy EMR systems is significant with over 30,000 PT clinics in the United States alone. However, adoption of EMR technology within the PT market has been slow with over 80% of clinics still using paper to document patient notes. When asked why Heidi speculated “the lack of financial incentives for EMR adoption by Physical Therapists is one reason that adoption has been slow. However, as referring physicians begin implement EMR systems of their own they will begin to encourage the PT clinics where they refer patients to provide them with clear, legible digital documentation.”
WebPT is a fully web based SaaS product that can be accessed using Windows, Macs, iPhones, iPads or other smart phones. Pricing begins at $49.00 per therapist and a typical clinic can begin using the product in less than one day.