How Documentation Workflow Can Affect a Patient's Experience

Sarah Lara

Apr 30, 2024

Clinical documentation is an integral part of every patient session. It allows physical therapists to keep track of the patient’s symptoms and treatment plans. In fact, according to Classic Rehabilitation Inc., 10-15% of a physical therapist's time is occupied by tasks like clinical documentation.

Clinical documentation workflow encompasses tasks physical therapists perform to deliver proper patient care. The way this workflow is managed can greatly influence a patient's experience. But in what way does it impact the patient experience?

Read on to discover how a clinic’s documentation workflow affects the patient experience.

Documentation Workflow Can Affect Communication and Care Coordination

Documentation workflows can affect communication and care coordination. Remember: clinical documentation records the patient’s medical history and is conducted by their clinic. As such, it must be completed in a timely and accurate manner.

If documentation from a session is not completed on time, physical therapists may inadvertently repeat treatments that have already been administered instead of progressing to new therapeutic stages. This disrupts the intended progression of patient care and delays recovery, affecting the overall treatment outcome – all due to the poor documentation workflow. Timely and accurate documentation is essential to maintaining the continuity and efficiency of treatment plans, ensuring that each session builds on the progress made previously. 

Additionally, clinical documentation acts as a critical communication tool between healthcare providers. For instance, if a patient requires care from a different clinic, the new medical team will need comprehensive records from the previous treatments to continue care effectively. Delays or inaccuracies in these records due to poor documentation practices can lead to miscommunications and hinder the new clinic's ability to devise and implement an effective treatment plan. This not only impacts the patient’s health outcomes but also the efficiency and reputation of the healthcare providers involved.

To prevent poor workflow from negatively affecting communication and care coordination, it’s highly recommended that physical therapy clinics take advantage of documentation workflow software. That way, delays and mistakes in their documentation duties can be prevented and the patient experience can be significantly improved.

It Can Affect Patient Safety

Workflow in documentation can also have a significant effect on patient safety. If a clinic is slow or inaccurate when conducting patient documentation, it can affect patient diagnosis. Apart from that, it can also affect the plans for their treatment. This, in turn, can directly affect the safety of the patients as it would prevent them from getting the treatment they need in a timely manner.

With poor workflows directly affecting patient safety, physical therapy clinics can lose the trust of their patients. With that in mind, clinics should use tools that can improve documentation management workflow. By doing so, they can further enhance how they document every patient session and prevent any adverse effects on patient safety.

As a physical therapist, you must ensure that your patients receive the care they deserve. One way you can do this is to ensure that your clinic’s workflow runs as smoothly as possible, especially in tasks such as patient documentation. As such, if you're looking to help your PTs in managing documents, don’t hesitate to turn to ScribePT.

With advanced features such as AI-generated notes, transcripts, passive recording, dictation, and even one-click EMR transfer, ScribePT is the documentation software to use to improve the way your PTs document patient sessions. Contact us today to learn more about ScribePT and its time-saving features.

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