Hello community, such a great idea! Anyway, I'm wondering whether anyone has been doing patient assessments in clinical notes using a questionnaire type template. We are finding that assessments can sometimes be very lengthy due to complexity and also can go off on tangents when the patient volunteers more information. Has anyone had success in building a template for this? or do your physio's a) just type in the info or b) do a hard copy and then have it scanned into either attachments or as a clinical note?
I was going to build one in excel and import it, however I was told that Smartsoft may be removing this ability to import excel documents so haven't pursued it. Any help would be great.
We're trying to move people away from the 'old style templates' which allowed for embedding OLE objects like an Excel spreadsheet. The main reason is these types of notes use technologies that are less efficient and may not be support by third party vendors in the future (Microsoft). The new style clinical note template types do allow for the adding of attachments that can be accessed directly from the clinical notes area, which may meet your needs.
This being said, we will not be actively decommissioning the old style clinical notes in Front Desk and they should keep working in the short to medium term.
Perhaps some of your fellows users can offer their advice on how they best handle adding patient questionnaires into Front Desk.
Thanks for responding, I'm interested in how you combine the paper based copy with the electronic template the physio fills in, do you scan in the paper copy as an attachment, or add it into clinical notes?
We've got heaps of other clinical notes templates and fully use the quick buttons, but the Assessments I've built with tick boxes and drop downs the physios say is too long to go through, so they want to keep doing the assessment in paper
hmm - yes - can be hard to convert existing practitioners. People dont like change. :) Surely it would be just a matter of the physios getting used to it?, rather than it being less time efficient? Sometimes , I personally find that typing in to text boxes can be quicker than using check boxes and drop downs, particularly with autotext and quick add. Personally, I would steer away from admin staff scanning and adding NP questionnaires as I feel that it is poor use of admin time and one of the beauties of e-notes is that they are easily readable, which you would lose. It would also limit the ability of the physio to start their consult if the paperwork has not been completed - ie if a New Patient is running late, or I am running early, I will grab them before they have finished their questionnaire ..... some of our physios were very keen to just scan the NP questionnaire, but I believe it is best if the CN entry is edited by the consulting physio as required - makes it easier to understand later - esp if another physio is doing the next treatment. Even the physios that were digging their toes in did get used to it in time. :)
We have looked a number of times over the years at using clinical notes and have some templates done which are similar in layout to our paper copies BUT what do you well hardware wise in the consultation - are you using tablets, laptops or PCs, are you using touchpens are you getting handwritten notes converting to text and this is saved? In my mind I know what I thin k will work, but Smartsoft are still recommending use of a PC which in a physio setting to my mind is unworkable.
Your time in pointing out what works and some ptofalls to avoid is greatly appreciated.
Thank you in anticipation,
Our physio's are using desktops at the moment. When we set up our last practice in August we were going to go the tablet way and hope to have the physio's be more interactive as they're doing assessments. however at that time it appeared that Front Desk didn't have the tablet functionality and we chose not to go with another tablet software programme as the two databases didn't communicate with each other. So sadly our physio's are still doing a paper based assessment and then we're scanning it in.
So if Smartsoft read this thread as i'm sure they do, my wish list for clinical notes would be the following functionality:
ability to build Ax form into clinical notes that was fully expandable/collapsible
able to be used with a pen
chart that was less clunky that the pen could 'mark' in less rigid ways
some kind of handwriting recognition built in (happy to provide one we really liked and did it well)
at a stretch even voice recognition perhaps down the track
Sorry I've not been much help David
The apps that run natively on many of these devices are generally simple function applications. I guess those flashy ads by companies like Apple (who do make excellent products) over promise what these devices can do and set an expectation that is not quite right when dealing with complex, demanding applications. We understand that we do have some competitors that promote that their applications work on tablet devices, but generally they are simple applications running in a web browser with very limited functionality. The most mature practice management industry in Australia is the GP market and we are unaware of tablet based clinical notes recording in the space that has any real traction.
If you want to investigate accessing Front Desk on an Apple iPad, I would download and trial for free the Parallels Access product and see how this works for you.
Other tablet devices such as the Microsoft Surface Pro will allow you to install and run Front Desk directly on them, and provide you the option of attaching a keyboard, rather than using the onscreen keyboard. We have had mixed feedback from Front Desk users using the Surface Pro, some absolutely love the portability it affords and are happy with using Front Desk on the smaller screen, for others they find it cumbersome because of the tedious nature of inputting information. We cannot stress enough that you should trial the use of Front Desk on these devices prior to purchasing expensive new hardware for your practice.
My personal recommendation is to get a small light laptop, such as the new Apple Macbook and install Windows on it. Then you get the best hardware and the best business operating system in a great portable package.
Thanks for taking the time to answer, much appreciated. I will probably stick with paper files while ever the PC remains the input method of choice as that's not overly practical in physio setting - as you no doubt have found.
At least we know Timothy is reading this thread!
I would second each of the features Teresa has noted as desirable. Timothy, I would think these are becoming more necessity than desirable! The assertion that the GP market is the most mature practice management sector but not having a tablet solution product is indicative that a tablet solution in unworkable at this time I think is mis-placed . I would suggest that the lack of a product in this sector is more indicative of the workflow of a GP practice not calling for tablet functionality. The workflow of an allied health practice, however screams for it.
Not being tech savvy, I don't imagine that I will have the answers but the Medical Director model of splitting the software into 2 inter-related components - admin and clinical - might allow for the clinical component to be less demanding of computer power and therefore compatible with tablets. The other thing which occurs to me is that the tablet will have to connect to the server or computer via a remote desktop connection of some sort, hence the tablet having a high RAM is really all that is required as the back-end etc is happening back at the server (I may just have confirmed my lack of tech know-how).
That aside, thank you Teresa. Kirsty if you had any light to shed on how you have solved the dilemna over your practices that would be greatly appreciated. And thanks Timothy for your suggestions given the current constraints.
Tim's comments regarding the GP market was in regards to what is currently happening in demanding clinical notes environments that are mature and well funded. It is our opinion that it does have relevance, as no matter what your workflow you should have properly recorded and visible clinical notes. Several years ago we had lots of client feedback suggesting we needed to have clinical notes functionality described to us as "using the devices that waiters use to take orders in restaurants" on the newly available hand held PDA devices of the time. The problem was that recording proper clinical notes was more involved that picking a few items from several drop down lists used when ordering food in a restaurant.
Our short and medium term view is that clinical notes are best performed on a device that has a keyboard and pointing device. If you want to take the device with you, we would then recommend a small light laptop as per Tim's comment. Casual use is fine using a tablet, again these devices are better for viewing data that for data input.
If you want to take you clinical notes in a more informal manner by just drawing and scribbling on a tablet surface, you may want to have a look at this Australia product from Enote File that I believe was developed by a physiotherapist. Note that Smartsoft is not associated with this product and you need to make your own assessment to its suitability for your use.