According to the American Physical Therapy Association, demand for physical therapy services has increased dramatically in the past few years and will continue to grow rapidly at least until 2020. Physical therapy practices are fielding more referrals from doctors than ever.
Handling the increased demand isn't easy. At PRO-PT, a 13-year-old practice with five locations in California's San Joaquin Valley, scheduling an increasing volume of referrals became a challenge with manual processes and free web tools. To maximize efficiency, PRO-PT cofounder Todd Martin needed a more effective solution.
Martin found the answer in Intuit QuickBase. Without any coding, he was able to build a QuickBase application that managed the scheduling process from referral to appointment scheduling to insurance verification. The result is more scheduled appointments, better visibility into referral and patient information, and a single source of information available on any device from anywhere.
"QuickBase was an ideal solution," says Martin. "Our staff was able to get to the patient faster because the information was all right there."
Conversions are King
PRO-PT is a growing practice that distinguishes itself with a relentless focus on results - for patients and for the practice itself. To deliver those results requires efficiency in key areas, including the referral-to-patient conversion process.
Managing approximately 140 referrals per week, primarily from doctors' offices, proved to be a real challenge for PRO-PT. The referrals were stored in a Google Spreadsheet, which required a lot of manual effort to manage.
"It was a nightmare. It was just a big, long spreadsheet. We couldn't build a nice, easy workflow so people knew what they were responsible for. And once we got to around 5,000 line items it bogged down, slowing productivity and frustrating the users," he says.
Building a Streamlined Process on Intuit QuickBase
To increase productivity, Martin looked for a solution. He selected Intuit QuickBase for its ability to not only store referral data, but also to move referrals through the team's existing workflow.
"New referrals are entered into a log, which then drop into a call log for the scheduling team. Once the referral is scheduled, the referral's information is passed to our insurance verification team, so we can handle that entire process before the patient even comes in," says Martin.
Having all referral data stored in a web-based solution also benefits the sales organization, according to Martin. Sales reps can pull up and discuss individual referral cases with a doctors' office while on the road. This gives the reps additional touch points that add value to the sales relationship.
Martin built customized interfaces for each role - managers, schedulers, sales, and the insurance verification team - so each user is only working with information relevant to his or her job. This has increased user satisfaction and productivity by streamlining day-to-day tasks.
"The system is so easy. Our scheduler just shows up in the morning and clicks one button, and all the information she needs for the day is right there," he says.
The net result of the referral management system is an increase in the rate of scheduled referrals from 92% to 99%. That increase alone represents about $30,000 of additional revenue for PRO-PT.
"QuickBase more than pays for itself," says Martin.