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Wash away paper woes with electronic SOAP notes

Today’s RMTs are operating in an ever-changing and increasingly complex business environment. Delivering exceptional patient care has always been a top priority for health professionals. However, regulations and laws regarding health-care delivery has resulted in practitioners needing to spend more time completing paperwork in a timely manner.


January 7, 2015
By Jessica Foster


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Today’s RMTs are operating in an ever-changing and increasingly complex business environment. Delivering exceptional patient care has always been a top priority for health professionals. However, regulations and laws regarding health-care delivery has resulted in practitioners needing to spend more time completing paperwork in a timely manner.

On top of appointment management, processing insurance claims and other daily demands, RMTs are required to create and maintain patient charts in the form of SOAP notes for each treatment – making patient care time-consuming and paperwork-intensive for RMTs. Fortunately, comprehensive software programs that include SOAP note charting are making life easier for RMTs in Canada.    

Electronic SOAP notes are an important element in the patient treatment process. Other elements of the treatment workflow include handling and storage of intake forms, appointment scheduling, storage and maintenance of patient contact information, recording patient appointments, invoicing and billing history, payment records, and retaining patient communication records.

SOAP notes are an integral part of the overall health-care record that RMTs manage for each patient. With so much vital information in each patient record,  RMTs are discovering that electronic records, especially when it comes to SOAP note charting, offer some distinct advantages over traditional paper records. The benefits include:

Legibility and format consistency – Electronic charting with a uniform template facilitates note-taking and prevents errors caused by illegible writing.

Efficiency – Electronic SOAP notes “cut and paste” options save time in repetitive treatment cases.

Time-saving – Fast, accurate record retrieval for clinical use, patient requests, interdisciplinary requests and related situations.

Convenient accessibility – Reviewing, updating and creating patient SOAP notes through Cloud-based practice management systems allow safe, secure access to records from anywhere with Internet access.

Cost-effective – Storage costs are signifigantly reduced when patient data is stored electronically.

Environmentally friendly – Electronic management systems save paper, while allowing you simple, instant printing in cases where paper copies are required.

Promotes interdisciplinarity – Potential for uniform charting across health disciplines and equal access to patient records for all health professionals within a patient’s scope of care.

Practising as a RMT in Canada without support systems in place can be challenging because of the bodies of laws and regulations enforcing standards of patient care. Affordable software systems exist that streamline all of the aforementioned processes, however, helping practitioners meet standards and excel at practice management – allowing them to focus their time on patient care while the software systems manage the rest of the business for them.

Choosing the right system or service may not be a simple thing to do. A number of factors will contribute to a RMT’s decision to use a partial solution or an all-inclusive one. Selecting the right one for your practice will have a significant impact on your day-to-day efficiency and can be critical to your success. Listing what you need from a practice management system will help you compare vendors’ offerings. The following electroninc record keeping functions may be beneficial:

  • SOAP notes and patient notes
  • Intake forms patients can receive and fill out prior to their first visit
  • Patient profile management
  • Appointment scheduling with efficient and accessible appointment history
  • General notes to log patient communications and other patient related notation.
  • Treatment billing with consolidated billing history
  • Insurance claim management
  • Financial reporting including outstanding accounts – treatments not yet paid for
  • Print function for each record
  • Secure hosting that is compliant with your college, provincial and federal privacy regulations

Other factors influencing RMTs’ choice of electronic record keeping systems include ease of use, vendor telephone and electronic technical support offered, price, terms of use, and track record of the system and service provider.

Some Canadian RMT associations have taken the time and effort to review and recommend electronic record keeping solutions to their members. This can save busy practitioners time and energy that can otherwise be spent treating patients or attending to other important matters.

Until next time, be well.


Jessica Foster writes on behalf of mindZplay Solutions, provider of massage therapy websites and practice management solutions. To learn more, visit www.massagemanedger.com .


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