Patients are frustrated by the number of physical therapy forms that need to be completed, whether printed or online. They consider filling out these forms to be time consuming and at times, stressful. They view physical therapy forms as something complicated and officious.
However, physical therapy forms are necessary before the physical therapist can even begin treatment. It does not have to be that way. Patients will gladly complete the physical therapy forms if they are designed so that it can be completed quickly and easily.
Physical therapy forms are used to communicate with patients and obtain the required information them, making them a crucial physical therapy business tool. Forms should be given the attention they require and several criteria should be considered:
- How will the physical therapy forms be used to capture, process and store data? – The language by which data is gathered should be consistent so that those processing and storing data will not waste time in deciphering the information.
- Who will share the information gathered? – The information should be simple and using the same terminology so everyone is aligned and can understand the information.
- Is the information in the different physical therapy forms repeating or overlapping each other? – This is to streamline the number of forms being used and avoid duplication. The fewer forms that can get the necessary information, the better and more inexpensive it would be.
- Are all the staff members involved in collecting and processing the data gathered consulted in the designing of the physical therapy forms? – Consultation with all the staff members will mean a better structure of the forms reducing error rate,
- Will the physical therapy forms be available online, printed or send through direct mail?
Some suggestions to get the best out of physical therapy forms:
- Structure the questions in such a way that there is a smooth flow and sequence. Grids should help defines what areas are for patients, for office or for the processor.
- Structured branching questions facilitate navigation and suggest the answer. This avoids confusion.
- The use of the right terminology and the tone should be given emphasis also. It should be concise and direct to the point.
- Place the notes and instructions at the end point of reference in the physical therapy forms. This reduces errors and frustrations