It was a slow midday shift in the Summer of 2011 when I was working with a patient who happened to have a day off from work. Usually, this patient was one of the last patients of the day; a time when the clinic was super busy with patients everywhere, multiple therapists and aides moving back and forth between cases. As the manager of the clinic, the challenge was trying to control the chaos while treating multiple patients at a time. But on that day, it was nice and quiet. The patient noted how odd it was to be here when the clinic wasn’t moving at full tilt. The differences didn’t stop there.
During this particular visit, the patient and I had the time to really communicate; we explored the reasons for his symptoms, and came up with meaningful solutions to try. I was able to use a few more manual techniques I had been practicing, and got some really great results from them and much needed feedback from the patient.
We moved on to working through all of his exercises, focusing on form and technique. The whole way I was able to give more thorough explanations for what the patient was doing and why, and how all of these things are coming together to meet his Physical Therapy goals. I was able to give and receive feedback, help the patient problem solve, and the patient and I both saw meaningful and measurable improvement. In my mind, this was the perfect therapy session.
“Honestly, Jason, I feel like I really got a handle on my back pain today. This was the best PT session I’ve had yet. How can we do this every visit?” the patient asked. From that moment on, I worked on finding ways to make that session happen for every patient, every day. I approached upper management with feedback that I’ve gotten and my plan, but was given the impression that “the numbers” just weren’t there for this patient experience to be consistently possible.
With more brainstorming and conversations, it dawned on me that even the most talented physical therapists have difficulty getting great results when time and financial constraints limit what treatments can be. It became quickly clear that under the “patient volume” business models, my vision would never work. There were too many old notions and dated methods that were harboring systemic obstacles for this new model to be feasible. I figured that every industry had to reinvent itself in order to stay competitive and meet the needs of the consumer. It was about time Physical Therapy got an update.In 2012, I created Core Physical Therapy. I actively searched for ways to cut overhead, redundancy, to provide a better “canvas” for talented physical therapists to fully use their knowledge and skills. With the help of a talented IT team, we were able to leverage technology and the Internet to power the clinic. We struck a balance of inserting computers to reduce redundancy to allow for decreased administrative costs while maintaining that reassuring human element when the patient’s individual concerns need to be addressed. And in doing so, we were able to ratchet down the push for higher patient volume. We gave this time and attention back to our patients in the form of higher quality treatments and a better value for their healthcare dollar.
Core Physical Therapy pairs skilled physical therapists with a great business model, and our patients have had nothing but phenomenal things to say about the results. Patients were impressed with the amount of time they were able to spend with their therapist, being able to fully utilize treatment time for meaningful intervention, boosting the level of communication, and giving them the opportunity to get better faster with a potential decrease in their cost of care. Our patients could truly become our number one priority.
As we move into our 7th year, I am happy to report that Core Physical Therapy is still growing. We are continuing to meet and exceed the expectations of our patients requiring sports and orthopedic physical therapy. Both our patients and referral sources have been thrilled with our level of care. We are establishing physical therapists as an important part of our patients’ medical teams by providing easy and consistent access to their physical therapist of choice.
I will ensure that Core Physical Therapy will continue to find new and innovative ways to keep our patients moving. Whether it’s in the short term rehabilitation following a surgery or providing long-term orthopedic wellness plans, our physical therapists will provide patients with the highest quality care possible.
Visit one of our physical therapy clinics and experience physical therapy as it was meant to be!
Jason Kart, PT, DPT