Whether you are a physiotherapist, massage therapist, chiropractor or naturopath I have a foolproof system to gain you up to 30 minutes extra free time per day! That’s two and half hours per week or almost an extra week per year! An extra week to do the things you want to do. To fill with whatever floats your boat.
This secret system is based on my long-term observation of practitioners filling a 20 minute, thirty minute or 60 minute consultation with, well consulting. In other words using the full allocated time for an appointment to deliver the service. Which is great value for the client but means the paperwork (record keeping, filing, phone calls, thank you letters, etc.) gets done after the client leaves.
In other words, you continue to work for the client after the client has left the building! You use your own personal time to complete the outstanding client-related tasks that should be incorporated in the appointment time: the time your client is paying for you to work on their behalf.
Two issues here, firstly there is a legal obligation to complete medical or procedure records in a contemporaneous manner. Meaning: at the time of delivery. This maximises the chances of accuracy and adequacy in the eyes of the law, and gives you the best chance of delivering an effective program based on quality record keeping.
Second issue is theft: you are stealing time from you. You are donating unpaid time to the business. The habit in my profession is often to make basic notes or prompts at the time of the consultation and to complete the rest of the record when the working session is completed. Instead of using that time to read a good book over lunch, to go home to loved ones, to go the beach for a surf or cycle home before dark.
To receive this extra bonus time in your life involves a simple shift in your procedures. Whatever your appointment duration might be, complete the service delivery with a few minutes to spare and (this is really important) stay with the client as you complete their paperwork. Tell them how important it is to document the intervention immediately and with great accuracy and this is in their best interest. Sure they might chat on but you can nod and grunt as you write and finish with a great flourish. You must ensure your work area has all you need on site to complete the paperwork because as soon as you leave the client they have no idea you are still working for them. If you walk out at minute 26 of a thirty minute appointment they may feel short-changed or not valued. Stay with them till done or time is up.
Now all you need to do is work out the best way to use this extra week per year in your best interest.