10 Wellness Industry Trends for 2021

Make sure you’re providing the patient care your clients deserve with the right tools by your side.

Have you seen Ryan Reynolds’ new commercial, “Match Made in Hell?” If not, you need to check it out. I’d say it hits the nail on the head!

All jokes aside, it hasn’t been all bad. This year has forced many of us to slow down, reflect on our habits, and refocus on mental health and wellness. Such reevaluation and reflection gives physical therapists an opportunity to reinforce healthy lifestyle choices and promote the overall wellness of clients. Given the themes we’ve seen emerging, here are 10 wellness trends for 2021:

Virtual Wellness

Virtual wellness took off in 2020 and is here to stay. We’ve witnessed the birth of the “at-home fitness studio” and the booming success of products like Peloton and Mirror. Many individual studios began offering live virtual classes and remote training sessions. While in-person training and group fitness are uniquely valuable, remote options increase the accessibility of fitness resources for those who cannot easily leave their homes.

Outdoor Exercise

Over the past year, many have found a renewed appreciation for the great outdoors. I’ve always been a fan of outdoor exercise, but have recently taken it to a new level by embarking on 20-mile bike rides and day-long hikes. Multiple friends have spontaneously walked marathons and others have taken up open-water swimming. What better way to clear the mind and get moving than to go outside? Plus, it’s free!

Screen Fasting

With the switch to remote schooling and at-home work for many individuals, screen time has increased exponentially. In “Dealing the Magic Drug,” I wrote, “many of us are spending long hours staring at computer screens, craning our necks as we attempt to work from our couches, and finding ourselves sedentary for even longer stretches of time than ‘usual.’”

Many have observed increased muscle tension and musculoskeletal imbalances, poor posture, and pain. As the implications of too much screen time have become more pronounced, we anticipate that people will act with increased intentionality to take time away from screens.

Telehealth

As is the case with virtual wellness, Telehealth is here to stay! Telehealth increases the accessibility of physical therapy and all other forms of healthcare for those who cannot easily leave their homes, and allows service providers to increase their efficiency. For more, see “Preparing for the Only Certainty: Digital Transformation in PT” and learn how PtEverywhere can help elevate your efficiency.

Mental Wellness

Wellness consists of so much more than just physical fitness. Let’s make 2021 the year of balance, engaging the mind-body connection in pursuit of clarity and centeredness. It’s time to reject the “taboo” and communicate clearly about where we’re at and what we need.

Community

Community is a vital component of mental health and overall wellbeing. Especially as society approaches some semblance of “normal” and we’re able to interact more freely with one another, let’s not take for granted the gift of in-person interaction and time together.

Self-Care

Each of us has our limits. Ideally, we know how to hit pause before we reach them. Self-care can mean a lot of different things, but the core tenant is restoration. At times this may look like a calming yoga class, an epsom salts bath, or an hour of leisure reading. Alternatively, self-care might mean an intense sweat session or a laughter-filled evening with good friends.

Self-care should be implemented regularly, but is especially important in times of stress and transition. 2021 is the perfect occasion to make self-care a part of your routine! Check out Bridgette Feurerstein’s “Halfway Hippie” blog (one of my favorites!) for a splash of inspiration.

Emphasis on Immunity

According to the Global Wellness Summit, experts predict that “strengthening the immune system (and building physical fortitude) will be a major 2021 wellness trend across the board, from food, to supplements, to educational classes.” Concern over immunity is a great outlet for physical therapists to get involved! For a detailed outline of how physical therapy can help, see “Dealing the Magic Drug.”

Increased Adoption of the Holistic Approach

The desire not to leave the house unless absolutely necessary has driven numerous individuals to consider how they can preserve their health from the inside out. Thank goodness! It’s time to spread the understanding that diet and exercise are the two most fundamental and transformative contributors to our health.

Rest!

Regular circadian rhythms benefit metabolism, hormone release, mood, and more. With little reason to be up and out early and not as much going on to tire us out, many of us have slipped into irregular sleep patterns. Our bodies and minds are thirsty for good, restful sleep. Expect to meet clients who are seeking sleep solutions.

4 Pillars of Patient Satisfaction

Make sure you’re providing the patient care your clients deserve with the right tools by your side.

Patient satisfaction is the backbone of organic practice growth. It’s what brings patients back and drives referrals. As I mentioned in last week’s post, we estimate that the average customer tells NINE others about a business after a positive experience.

Imagine the opportunity!

patient satisfaction
By delivering quality care with a focus on patient satisfaction, you make the most meaningful investment in the future of your business.
When you don’t know where to start, it can be overwhelming to unravel and understand what drives patient satisfaction. To make it simpler, we’ve boiled patient satisfaction down into four main pillars: Environment, Expectations, Care, and Value.

Environment:

Cultivate a Comfortable Environment
Practice environment makes or breaks a first impression. This includes two main components: physical atmosphere and the attitude of you and your team.

Physical atmosphere is perhaps more straightforward: ensure your space is clean, warm, and inviting. You want your clients to feel safe and relaxed in your office. If your practice is mobile or telehealth, even better! There’s no place like home.

Secondly, ensure that the attitudes of your staff and practitioners follow suit. This means taking good care of your team and facilitating mutual respect. Every member of your team should be enthusiastic about your practice and mission! This attitude should rub off on your patients, conveying a positive outlook on their overall patient journey.

Expectations:

Manage Patient Expectations
Unreasonable expectations will ruin your shot at achieving patient satisfaction. It doesn’t matter what you deliver if it’s less than expected. For this reason, you MUST prioritize clear expectation setting with your patients. For an entire post dedicated to this topic, check out “9 Steps to Expectation Setting with Your PT Patients.”

Care:

Practice Patient-centered Healthcare
None of us enjoy feeling like we’re being passed through a machine. Unfortunately, too much of healthcare neglects the individual and emotional needs of patients, leaving them to feel this very way. Patient-centered healthcare looks at each patient as an individual and emphasizes patient engagement. Want to dive further into patient engagement? See PtEverywhere’s “2021 Guide to Patient Engagement.”

Value:

Deliver Value-based Service
PtEverywhere was founded with the objective of helping physical therapy practice owners scale the profitability of their cash based practices.

I’m NOT saying that you should ever undercharge for your services. What I am suggesting is that you take steps to reinforce with your clients the value in the treatment they’re receiving. In large part, this means organizing your PT practice with a focus on partnering with patients to help them achieve their goals while optimizing movement, strength, range of motion, and general wellness. Let this serve as a call to provide holistic, sustainable care!

As always, PtEverywhere is here to help! We are eager to pursue patient satisfaction together. Click here to learn more about how PtEverywhere can streamline your practice management and enhance the patient experience.

PT patient referrals

2021 Guide to Patient Engagement

Make sure you’re providing the patient care your clients deserve with the right tools by your side.

“Patient engagement” is a term you have likely heard a lot over the last few years in the world of physical therapy. But do you really understand what it means?

While patient engagement has turned into quite the buzzword, its definition, importance, and achievability are less widely understood.

In preparing for the new year, let’s take some time to grow our understanding of patient engagement by answering the following three questions:

1.  What is patient engagement?
2.  Why does patient engagement matter?
3.  How do I increase my patient engagement?

What is patient engagement?

There are many definitions of patient engagement, but all center around the idea of patients participating in their own healthcare.

This requires physical therapists to empower their patients with the knowledge and tools necessary to do so.

Why does patient engagement matter?

Three things: Better outcomes, lower costs, and business development. Because physical therapy requires so much work outside the clinic, adherence is absolutely essential. Empowering patients to participate in their own healthcare will give them the understanding necessary to achieve optimal results with minimal clinic visits. Fewer clinic visits make for lower costs and better value. While fewer clinic visits mean you’re receiving fewer payments from clients, value and efficiency are large determinants of patient satisfaction. Patient engagement is linked to increased patient satisfaction across the board. A satisfied patient will have reason to tell others about your clinic. In fact, it is estimated that the average customer tells NINE people about your business after a positive experience.

How do I increase my patient engagement?

While many elements contribute to patient engagement, three come first to my mind:

1.  Good Listening:

Genuinely listening to what your patients have to say builds rapport and conveys both trust and respect. Patients who feel trusted and respected will naturally be more confident in their ability to take control of their own health. Make a point to develop caring and professional relationships with your clients, such that they feel like you are working together towards their goals.

2.  Comprehensive Modeling:

When walking clients through their exercises, make sure they understand each movement by giving them time to complete at least two full sets. Simply demonstrating a movement and having a patient repeat it once or twice will not provide enough time for them to fully grasp the concept. Nothing inhibits adherence like forgetting how to do an exercise. Additionally, be prepared to offer alternatives if a movement feels bad in a patient’s body. It is reasonable to expect some level of discomfort, but unreasonable to expect adherence if patients are miserable.

3.  Personalized HEP:

Delivering custom home exercise programs to your patients greatly contributes to each one feeling heard as an individual, not just like “another” client going through the PT machine. PtEverywhere makes it easy to deliver personalized HEP to your clients with an extensive video library and the ability to record your own videos directly through the mobile app. Take a look at “Do Your Homework: Effective HEP” for more on PtEverywhere’s comprehensive HEP platform.

How to Cure Impostor Syndrome

I’ve been there.

You’re thinking to yourself….

What if I’m not a good enough clinician to help them?

What if they don’t get better?

What if they say no?

What if they leave a bad review?

I just need another year to learn more.

I just need a Fellowship to be ready.

I just need a little more time because I’m not an expert yet.

Impostor syndrome is a real problem. It’s probably the greatest mental battle we have to fight to be able to go out and do something on our own.

I’ve had to deal with this as a new grad, a new instructor for MobilityWOD, a new business owner and currently an educator/consultant for other businesses.

Each time I’ve taken on a new role, my old friend Impostor Syndrome comes back out.

Here’s how I deal with it and the daily habit I have that puts Impostor Syndrome back where it belongs.

Step one is to understand why you’re doing what you’re doing.

I’m not talking about more control of your time and making more money. I’m talking about a deeper reason as to why you’re going out on your own.

Here’s an example.
Let’s say you have two kids and you have spent a significant time reflecting on what type of relationship you want to have when them as they get older.

You want to be able to drop them off and pick them up from school. You want to coach all their sports teams and you want to be around them as much as possible.

Because of this you realize that time freedom is really important.

You decide you need to control your own schedule and go out to start your own business.

Then shit gets hard.

People turn you down, you flatline your growth and struggle to gain traction.

If all you wanted was to not work on Friday, this is probably where you give up and go back to whatever you were doing before.

If you know the ultimate goal is to spend as much meaningful time with your kids as possible, you’ve got a much more compelling reason to keep pushing.

This deep why is what you have to understand.

Step 2 is you need to write it down.

I’m not talking about one sentence.

I’m talking about creating a vision statement.

The creation of a vision statement is in the very first module of our Clinical Rainmaker Coaching Program. It’s at the beginning because it’s the first assignment we actually want people to complete.

This is a document where you write down in detail your deep why.

You put images of the things that are important to you or that you want to achieve one day.

You put down bullet point quotes and affirmations that are meaningful to you.

It’s your compass to stay on track to hit your goals.

Step 3 is to read this vision statement first thing every morning.

Seriously, every morning.

This is the hardest part but the most important part.

When we start our day knowing exactly why we are doing what we are doing, all the ups and downs are easier to handle.

In my experience success is something that happens very slowly.

Most people give up before they give themselves enough time to actually become successful.

If you’re struggling with Impostor Syndrome, this will help you…if you’re willing to do the work.

Danny
Physical Therapy BIZ

9 Steps to Expectation Setting with Your PT Patients

Make sure you’re providing the patient care your clients deserve with the right tools by your side.

It’s not what you did. It’s what you didn’t do.

Customer dissatisfaction is rarely caused by your direct actions. More often, complaints arrive because you did not deliver on what you said you would do – whether verbally or implied.

Patients complain (and rightfully so) when they get less than expected. Indeed, understanding and setting patients’ expectations are keys to enhancing their satisfaction levels. Keep reading for 9 steps to expectation setting with your physical therapy patients!

1. Understand realistic vs. unrealistic expectations

Before taking steps to enforce expectations with your PT clients, you must first establish what can and cannot be reasonably expected of you to begin with. Having clear boundaries will limit the potential for manipulation and provide a clear avenue for conflict resolution. Patients can reasonably expect that they will be listened to, offered thorough explanations, and cared for by compassionate, professional staff. Unreasonable expectations include wanting to discuss several major problems at one time, expecting immediate results, and expecting healthcare providers to be accessible 24/7 via phone.

2. Seek to understand why unreasonable requests are made

Most of the time, patients are not trying to be difficult. Unreasonable expectations are generally rooted in some form of misunderstanding or miscommunication. The ability to notice patterns and understand where patient’s unreasonable expectations are coming from will help you to enhance your practice’s future messaging.

3. Establish a projected timeline for results

In physical therapy, results are rarely instantaneous. It takes time and effort for improvements to become noticeable. Discussing a timeline and setting goals for improvement with your clients will allow them to know when they should and should not be concerned, and eliminate the opportunity for them to say, “It’s not better,” within a week of their first appointment.

improving patient experience

4. Discuss costs upfront

Out of pocket healthcare costs, including physical therapy treatment, can be substantial. It’s one thing to know how much you’re paying ahead of time, and an entirely different thing to have unexpected charges sprung on you left and right. Regardless of size, unexpected charges are one of the biggest things that build distrust and cause drop offs. Discussing a plan for scheduled payments upfront will give your clients peace of mind and eliminate surprises that make for unmet expectations.

5. Clearly explain why certain treatment and management is necessary

Ditch the medical jargon and meet your patients where they’re at. Without an understanding of why certain treatments and management methods are necessary, patients are likely to grow frustrated and abandon their home exercise programs and overall plan of care. This is especially important in physical therapy, as clients must take initiative for much of their own treatment. Adherence is key to results, and communication is key to adherence.

6. Stop “selling” physical therapy

Yes, you are running a business. That being said, your job is not to “sell” your clients something they don’t need or that you can’t deliver on. Present a plan for how you can help your patients reach their goals and represent it accurately with compassion. Compare your first conversation to that of a high-end mattress store: You aren’t simply trying to sell a mattress; instead, you want to help the client to get a good night’s sleep.

7. Don’t allow patients to manipulate you with unreasonable requests

It’s easy to find yourself bending over backwards in an attempt to please your patients. While providing patient-centered healthcare should be the objective, you must enforce your boundaries. Allowing yourself to be manipulated by patients with unreasonable requests will only set you up for failure, overwork, and frustration in the long run.

8. Recognize your own limits

There will undoubtedly come times when you simply cannot provide what a patient is looking for. This may be because their needs fall beyond the scope of your practice, or simply because communication is not working. Either way, knowing when to direct them elsewhere will add to your credibility and build trust for future referrals.

9. Cultivate an enthusiastic and happy staff

Patients should rightfully be able to expect a positive experience in your office, where they are greeted by a friendly and comforting staff. The care you extend to your team members will be reflected in how they fulfill the emotional needs of your patients. An office of impatient, grumpy, or unprofessional staff is a surefire way to leave patients feeling worse after their appointments than before.

expectation setting for cash-based physical therapy clinics