In recent years, the term “value-based care” has become a buzzword in healthcare. Large hospital systems are increasingly required to demonstrate that the care they provide produces superior patient outcomes at a lower price. As a result, largehealthcare systems are moving to consolidate rehabilitation services into their sphere of influence.
At the same time, physical therapy franchises are growing, absorbing smaller private practices into their mold. Some large companies own and operate more than 500 rehabilitation clinics. With all this consolidation, however, comes the risk of excessive standardization and decreased personalization of care.
Many providers question whether the cookie-cutter treatments at big box clinics truly provide better value for the money. These clinicians are fighting back against the trend towards homogeneity with the opposite approach. They push for a more individualized, client-driven method of care: a Concierge Patient Experience.

Defining the Concierge Patient Experience

Let’s start by clarifying: the Concierge Patient Experience is not the same as a concierge payment model. While cash-pay, concierge care clinics are becoming increasingly popular, they aren’t the only way to provide high-quality personalized care to patients. You can deliver a concierge experience for your patients regardless of your clinic’s payment structure.

What defines the Concierge Patient Experience? Let’s consider the key characteristics:

  • The patient and provider develop a strong personal connection.
  • The provider spends dedicated face-to-face time with each patient.
  • The patient’s goals for treatment are front and center at all times.
  • The provider personalizes treatment to each patient and their goals.
  • The patient and provider communicate consistently and easily throughout treatment.
  • The patient experience is overwhelmingly positive, encouraging word-of-mouth referrals to friends and family.

You’re probably thinking, “This all sounds great, but how on earth do I achieve that in my clinic? I have limited time and resources, after all!”

Fair point! However unattainable it may seem, it’s still possible to build a Concierge Patient Experience in any clinic, regardless of size and budget. Let’s discover how.

Delivering a Concierge Patient Experience

Referring back to the defining bullets above, let’s break down the key points of each and illustrate how you can achieve them in your practice.

Personal Connection and Face-to-Face Time

Most providers believe that the best therapeutic outcomes result from a strong relationship with their patient. That means having the time to really get to know their patients and focus on their needs. Unfortunately, constantly declining reimbursement rates and unrealistic productivity expectations make one-on-one time with patients increasingly difficult to maintain.

The complex environment of modern healthcare requires physical therapists to become increasingly creative with how they treat. In some clinics, the therapist may only have 15 minutes to spend with each patient, while the remainder of the visit is supervised by provider extenders like PT aides

In these cases, PTs must find ways to extend their influence beyond the clinic visit. In an increasingly tech-saavy world, some clinicians are turning to mobile devices and apps to solve this dilemma.

An excellent example: the AC Health app makes it easy and fast to record videos of yourself or your patient performing specific exercises in the clinic. The patient is able to access the videos at home for tailored guidance in their home program.

This approach is much more personal than a stock photo or video from a generic exercise library. They’ll be seeing your face and/or hearing your voice guiding them through each exercise, just as if you’re standing next to them in clinic. After all, your patients are paying for you, not a fitness model.

Patient Goals and Personalization

Since your first day of PT school, you’ve learned about the importance of patient-centered care: the patient’s goals and values should be the driving force behind every plan of care and treatment recommendation. Patient-centered careimproves satisfaction and outcomes for patients and providers alike.

However, it can be a challenge to keep these goals straight when you’re treating your 10th patient of the day. Here are some practical strategies to keep each patient’s goals center of mind.

  • If your electronic medical record allows, jot a brief summary of each patient’s top 1-2 goals at the top of their chart in the name section or precautions box. They’ll pop up each time you open that chart, reminding you how to focus your treatment.
  • Start each visit by asking your patient what their goals are for that session. Though individual session goals may vary, they will all be things that matter to the patient and help them stay motivated.
  • Use the Goals section of the AC Health app to record your patient’s long-term goals on the day of their initial evaluation. You and your patient can track progress towards goals with real-time video and edit them as goals evolve.

By focusing on the patient’s goals at the start of each treatment, you’ll be better able to tailor their care to reach those goals. With AC Health, you can personalize an exercise differently for every patient, using the specific cues that work best for each person.

The app goes beyond exercises as well: you can record an avid golfer practicing their swing while you cue them to adjust their mechanics. You can make a video to instruct your patient who works in a warehouse on proper lifting ergonomics. The personalization possibilities are endless!

Communication and Positivity

There are 168 hours in week, and most patients only see you for 1-2 of them. Your time to check in and communicate important information to them is limited. Fortunately, technology can enhance your ability to interact with patients on a more consistent basis.

While some providers are tempted by the ease of text messaging for patient communication, most texting isn’t HIPAA-compliant. Communicating primarily via email is time-consuming, inefficient, and often also violates HIPAA. What is a busy therapist to do?

HIPAA-compliant patient portals and messaging systems have become more commonplace, facilitating better communication and increased patient engagement. If your practice doesn’t have an established portal, however, you still have options.

The AC Health app allows you to message patients in a secure, HIPAA-compliant fashion. You can send text, voice, and video messages to answer questions, encourage home program adherence, and congratulate patients on their efforts. These multimedia options help you build rapport and create positive, encouraging relationships with your patients.

An All-in-One Solution

AC Health offers the simplest, quickest solution for delivering a Concierge Patient Experience. It can help differentiate your practice from the franchise down the street and increase your referral rate. Don’t delay: sign up for your free trial today, and see how easy it can be to customize care for every patient.