How A Sports Medicine Physical Therapy Practice Grew 33% Without Increasing Front Desk Headcount

Jan 9, 2023 | Case Studies



The East Suburban Sports Medicine Center (ESSMC) is a 38-year-old physical therapy practice located in Pittsburgh’s eastern suburbs with six locations spread across Pittsburgh.

ESSMC needed a front desk solution that would help digitize and optimize their front desk.

The solution would need to help them staff two new locations, supplement their busy clinics, and serve as a backup in case of last minute fire drills.

The Problem

A six-month hiring process made it
challenging to staff current and new

A front desk supplement was needed for
busy clinics

The office manager frequently traveled
between locations to cover absent

A lengthy intake process decreased patient
treatment time

The lack of front desk support led to
physical therapist and secretary burnout

The use of paper forms and charts
increased their dependency on in-person

The Solution


ESSMC learned about WelcomeWare in 2021 at the annual Private Practice Sessions event in Dallas, Texas. ESSMC liked how WelcomeWare’s platform would support their planned business expansion by providing full front desk coverage across their locations. Using WelcomeWare for coverage across multiple locations would decrease the stress associated with hiring new secretaries to provide individual location coverage. ESSMC’s Vice President, Michael Tardio recalls spending “six months” hiring for vacant secretary positions, describing WelcomeWare as an “easy solution.” Since installing WelcomeWare to cover multiple locations simultaneously, “the office manager no longer needs to cover and travel between locations.”

Full Front Desk Coverage

The WelcomeWare platform has optimized ESSMC’s front desk operations. 95% of intake forms are now completed before an appointment, speeding up the check-in process. Paper forms are digitized and completed through the WelcomeWare kiosk. The decreased check-in time means patients receive maximum treatment time with their therapist.

Optimized Front Desk

WelcomeWare’s platform ensures ESSMC’s frontdesk is always covered. Whether it’s secretaries leaving, calling in sick or being on vacation, patients are never left waiting. Secretaries at ESSMC’s busier locations process patients through the WelcomeWare kiosk during peak hours. WelcomeWare eliminates the need for individual location coverage by personnel at each site.

Reduced Recruiting Time

WelcomeWare empowered ESSMC to leverage their current front desk staff across multiple locations. By using WelcomeWare to process and intake patients, ESSMC’s current secretaries could be leveraged to cover ESSMC’s two new locations. WelcomeWare eliminates the lengthy six months hiring process previously experienced in hiring new intake personnel to handle new sites.

The Result

WelcomeWare enabled ESSMC to grow by 33% without needing to hire more front desk secretaries. ESSMC’s vice president reflected, saying “within a year WelcomeWare has helped us go from six to eight locations. A newly optimized front desk operations model has led to faster check-ins, reduced headcount and an improved intake process.” Patients spend more time with their physical therapist and less time completing paperwork.

Optimized front desk

Maintained collections & scheduled appointments

Improved front desk coverage

Reduced headcount

Decreased staff burnout

Business Expansion

The flexibility offered by WelcomeWare resulted in the fast addition of two new ESSMC locations. Michael Tardio praised WelcomeWare, saying WelcomeWare “allowed ESSMC not to be fearful to open a 7th and 8th location. The overhead is less and we know the system works.”

Reduced Headcount

The implementation of WelcomeWare meant ESSMC no longer needed to hire secretaries for new or current positions. Their three receptionists now offer coverage and supplemental support across their eight locations. ESSMC’s secretaries and remote receptionists now focus solely on checking in patients while one insurance verification specialist handles insurance across all of the locations.

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