Software not switched on to physios says Australian Physiotherapy Association

Australian Physiotherapy Association logoIn a world of digital hyper-connectivity, practice management software should be physiotherapists’ most reliable business partner – but a new survey by the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) has found that’s often not the case.

Despite the cloud, apps, voice recognition and myriad other online services available, many physio practices must use five to six different software packages. They provide accounting, note taking, exercise program delivery and patient records – but do not integrate with each other via an effective practice management system (PMS). 

Many also do not integrate with important health systems such as HICAPS, DVA, WorkCover, Medicare and My Health Record.

physiotherapist softwareIn fact, the PMS products most commonly used by physios fail to meet the current and evolving needs of modern practice, the APA has found.

The APA asked the most commonly used PMS vendors for information about their products and that information is now available in the association’s new Practice Software Insight Report.

The study found that while all PMS products offered basic functions such as electronic patient records, the market as a whole had not kept pace with advances in technology or our changing professional needs.

Key areas where deficiencies were identified also include:

  • Interoperability with other software and health apps – for example, only 57 per cent of PMS products integrate with My Health Record.
  • Meeting national standards – only 50 per cent of the identified products have the ability to identify a client’s Indigenous status in a way that is compatible with national standards and just 57 per cent can code a client’s gender in a way that is compatible with national standards.
  • Business administration support – for example, only 50 per cent of products integrate with accounting software such as MYOB and Xero
  • Data collection for individual treatment and collective intelligence – just 29 per cent capable of integrating patient-reported experience measures (PREMs) and 21 per cent capable can integrate patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs).
  • Future changes to practice – only 43 per cent of products integrate with video conferencing and 50 per cent incorporating decision support functionality for medicines use/prescribing (including alerts, prompts and precautions).

The report is a snapshot of the products at the time we surveyed and the information by the vendors themselves. The report does not capture any improvements or upgrades the vendors may have planned and is not an exhaustive list of all functionality, which may vary and be unique to each product.

Image: Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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