How to Increase Patient Engagement in Physical Therapy

According to a recent peer reviewed study published in PLOS ONE, up to nearly one-third of appointments for patients undergoing physical therapy for musculoskeletal conditions are no-shows.

While the most common patient excuses included forgetting the appointment, family conflicts, personal emergencies and lack of transportation – an often overlooked contributing factor and source of frustration for both patients and insurance companies is lack of progress.

How Do You Measure Progress?

Physical therapists bemoan how subjective progress measurement is today. Asking patients to rate their level of pain on a scale of 1-10 and describe how they feel about their progress may be good practices but produce highly subjective and often inconclusive data points.

Measuring grip strength, balance, and range of motion are critically important objective measurements, but many physical therapists lack the instrumentation to collect this data. Those who do use measuring instruments often find the process falls short of the ideal in many ways:

  • It’s time-consuming and uncomfortable for both parties
  • It’s focused mostly on peak values vs. averages over time
  • Data is captured in clunky and out-of-date formats like pen and paper, or Excel
  • It doesn’t incorporate progress reporting to the patient and referring doctors
  • It fails to motivate patients to fully engage in their rehabilitation

Without accurate measurement over time, progress assessment are subjective and inexact, patients can become discouraged, and physical therapy effectiveness erodes.

No-Shows & Progress Visualization

When patients feel their progress has plateaued or stalled, they may cancel or skip appointments, stop coming in altogether, or fail to follow-up with their insurance providers for additional sessions. A single missed appointment can affect progress and well-being.

In a recent survey from Prompt, the second biggest source of patient drop-off was lack of progress visibility. According to an article describing the survey’s findings, “70% of patients told Prompt they would like to get a weekly report on their progress, yet no software facilitates this. Additionally, 47.4% of patients would like to understand their recovery better. Therapists educate patients on their progress, but without visual tools to demonstrate the progress to patients, clinics lose money.” 

Few things in physical therapy are as demotivating as a lack of progress.

Digital Progress Measurement in Physical Therapy 

JLW is now a distributor of the KINVENT line of line of digital, wireless measuring devices for physical therapy and similar fields. KINVENT dynamometers, movement sensors, pressure sensors, and force plates are revolutionary products for objectively, easily and accurately measuring and reporting patient progress.

All KINVENT products quickly capture patient biofeedback data and wirelessly transmit it to the KFORCE App so progress can be tracked, reported to the patient, and integrated with your EMR system. This is why KINVENT is used by major league sports organizations across the world, including eight teams in the U.S. and more than 30 in France.

KINVENT Devices: Essential Pack

KFORCE App Reporting Example: Force Plates

Schedule a Demo

Request a demo so you can see how KINVENT measures patient progress and enables you to:

  • Assess: evaluate patient performance in seconds, including grip strength, balance, and range of motion
  • Report: share real-time biofeedback data with your patients, so they'll be more motivated, invested in their progress, and more likely to achieve lasting results
  • Customize: personalize rehab programs with precise and adaptable goals
  • Consistency: up to 20 devices can be connected to help ensure standardized treatment even when different therapists treat the same patient
  • Gamify: use gaming to make rehabilitation fun and engaging with targeted rehab for children and adults

We believe KINVENT is a breakthrough: KINVENT enables therapists to move towards precision medicine and value-based care by measuring patient progress over time for the first time. As a result, using KINVENT can help accelerate recovery and training, increase patient satisfaction, and provide more effective sports and rehabilitation therapy. 

Contact us to learn more about KINVENT digital measurement devices

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