How The Physical Therapy Institute Increased Patient Volume with WelcomeWare
The Physical Therapy Institute (PTI) has been helping patients on the road to recovery for 26 years. With 24 locations around the Pittsburgh area, managing their front desk operations is no small task.
Patient care coordinators (PCCs) are responsible for providing the first step in comprehensive care to the practice’s patients, playing an integral part in the day-to-day running of each clinic and championing the patient’s recovery.
One vacant post or out-of-office (OOO) can have a damaging effect on PTI’ patient experience and the practice’s ability to run a smooth operation. With vacant seats and long hiring cycles troubling PTI, they needed a front desk presence that would ensure their patients were greeted, scheduled and supported at the time of care.
Low Schedule Outs
Referred patients had no way of speaking to a Recovery Project staff member directly after their appointment with the neurologist.
Decrease in New Business
Lengthy recovery periods associated with patients not scheduling out their plan of care negatively impacted new referrals.
Disgruntled Clinical Staff Led to Staff Turnover
Managers traveled to provide front desk coverage and physical therapy assistants were unhappy with covering the front desk position long term.
Lengthy Hiring Periods
Hiring physical therapy assistants and front desk staff took 2 – 4 months
Lack of Patient Support at Front Desk
No one to champion and celebrate patient’s recovery process
The Physical Therapy Institute’s primary focuses are maintaining a positive patient experience and ensuring their patients make a full recovery. The patient care coordinator position is a very important yet highly difficult position to staff, and therefore, the absence of a patient care coordinator has negative effects on both the patient experience as well as the overall business of PTI.
By using WelcomeWare, PTI now leverages one experienced virtual patient care coordinator (VPCC) across multiple clinics, virtually staffing and covering their vacant front desk positions.
WelcomeWare is a great help with budgets by increasing arrival percentage and productivity. One of the most frustrating things is to hire, maintain and keep great staff. My staff are happier because WelcomeWare is in the office.
Cristy Schollaert , Vice President, Clinical Operations at Physical Therapy Institute
Dedicated VPCCs work from a remote location and have the ability to perform their role just like they would in person. The difference, they can be in more than one place at once. PTI’s virtual patient care coordinators greet patients, complete intake paperwork, and schedule/ reschedule future appointments. During peak hours, VPCCs can preempt a patient’s arrival by being on screen at time of check-in, greeting patients with a friendly smile.
By having a VPCC on hand during all operating hours, PTI schedules more patient appointments and has increased their number of weekly patient visits. At a VPCC to clinic ratio of 1:2, PTI has found a solution that offers fast and scalable front desk coverage.
The Physical Therapy Institute can now leverage their experienced virtual patient care coordinators across multiple locations, ensuring an empathetic check-in experience for their patients. By doing so, PTI maintains their employee satisfaction and they have eliminated the need to hire new inperson PCCs. Having an experienced VPCC on hand at the time of check-in increases patient satisfaction, scheduled out appointments and collections.
Increase in Scheduled Appointments:
Described as “schedule to potential”, PTI has increased the number of scheduled out appointments by 10% thanks to having a VPCC on hand at time of check-in/checkout. PTI now experiences 10 – 15 more appointments per week as a result of implementing WelcomeWare. Patients feel welcomed, supported, and understood as they are now greeted by a caring VPCC.
Faster Patient Recovery:
Patients are held accountable to complete their plan of care and therefore associate a positive and caring experience with PTI. As a result, PTI’s new and returning business (referrals) has increased, there is a steady flow of good reviews, and their reputation has improved over time.
Employee Retention and Satisfaction:
The implementation of WelcomeWare means staff members who previously covered the front desk, such as PT assistants and managers, no longer need to check in patients. Traveling time associated with coverage is eliminated, responsibilities for managers and physical therapy assistants maintain intact and less time is spent interviewing and hiring. Employee retention and happiness amongst their team has improved as their physical therapy assistants and managers are not stepping away to cover other roles.