Technical writing and other written work are imperative within a contemporary outpatient clinic between physical therapists, physical trainers, and other support staff within a physical therapy and wellness facility.
Mr. Christopher Simpson is a personal trainer with two Bachelor of Science Degrees in Kinesiology and Biology and is director of wellness within his place of work, an outpatient physical therapy and wellness clinic. He has told me that he is in control of all the website work and publication to potential clients. He is also head of the new form of clinic reporting and charting within his business, Web PT.
This business is not like many other physical therapy clinics I have worked with. This outpatient clinic is not just a clinic but also a place of normal exercise for other personal trainers, maintenance programs, Pilates, yoga, other fitness classes, weight loss programs, and a lot more. I thought this would be a great contrast from the clinic I had recently interned with this past school session.
I interviewed Chris Simpson instead of the owner of this clinic because everyone who I spoke to for an interview about technical writing suggested Chris. As we spoke, I was surprised about the many differences on how this clinic runs compared to other clinics, in and outpatient. Chris agrees that “technical writing is very important for any physical therapist and physical therapy assistant (PTA), but also other wellness professionals.” He believes that physical therapists and other wellness professionals “have to be able to properly write protocols, instructions, and reports because many people may not understand a program if not written clearly.” Besides the regular progress notes and daily reports, his clinic provides their discharged patients with personal home exercise programs that list different exercises that the therapist wants the patients to perform, how to perform them, along with pictures of those exercises.
As mentioned before, this clinic uses a program which I have not seen used before in other clinics called Web PT. It is a computer based system of documentation that has countless ways of customizing flowcharts for physical therapists and other therapy professionals. Chris described this system also lets the “workers document a patient’s exercise program for each session on an iPad and multiple computers, without big paper files for each patient” like most clinics. The therapists also can use Web PT “to send faxes and emails to other physicians and insurance companies in a safe and secure way.” This system of therapy documentation is great in all the right ways. Honestly, when I have the opportunity to run my own clinic, I would love to use this system or something like it.
As this system keeps the employees’ lives easier, Chris is in charge of the business’s website and Facebook page. He likes to keep the website updated if not monthly, at least quarterly. For the Facebook page, this business keeps clients and others up-to-date about events like 5K runs, healthcare programs, and wellness fairs for people to participate in. Even with these mediums, most people have told me, including Chris, that their business is mostly spread through word-of-mouth.
From all I learned from my interview, I think visiting with Chris and some of the other employees helped me understand the diversity of this clinic within just one town. The efficiency of reports and exercises program scheduling is outstanding, and I only hope that I can run a clinic with the same standards as this physical therapy and wellness clinic.
Michelle Provenza, guest blogger