5 EMR Hacks Every Occupational Therapist Should Know

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5 EMR Hacks Every Occupational Therapist Should Know

Let’s be real, occupational therapists – navigating through various occupational therapy software options, including EMR systems, can sometimes feel like finding your way through a maze. However, these systems are here to stay and are essential for efficiently managing patient information. 

As an OT, you know how important it is to stay on top of your game and provide the best possible care. That’s why mastering these five EMR hacks is a game-changer. We’re talking about streamlining your workflow, enhancing patient care, and ensuring you’re compliant with industry standards.

Therefore, whether you’re a tech-savvy pro or someone who still remembers the days of paper charts, these hacks are about to become your new best friends. Get ready to unlock the full potential of your EMR system and take your occupational therapy practice to new heights.

Customizing Templates for Occupational Therapy

One of the standout features of occupational therapy EMR systems is their ability to be tailored through customization, addressing the specific needs of your occupational therapy practice

Modifying or creating templates that capture relevant patient data, treatment plans, and progress notes can streamline your workflow and ensure that essential information is readily available.

Here’s how you can customize your EMR templates: identify the unique data points and documentation requirements for occupational therapy. Collaborate with your EMR provider or IT team to create customized templates or modify existing ones. 

Incorporate drop-down menus, checkboxes, and other user-friendly features to make data entry more efficient. Regularly review and update your templates to ensure alignment with evolving best practices and regulations.

Implementing Automated Alerts and Reminders

In the fast-paced world of occupational therapy, it’s easy to overlook important tasks or deadlines. The utility of occupational therapy practice management software shines when you implement automated alerts and reminders, ensuring critical touchpoints are never missed. Automated alerts can decrease missed appointments by up to 30% and improve patient adherence to treatment plans.

Here’s how you can set up custom alerts and reminders: Identify critical events or tasks that require timely attention, such as appointment reminders, therapy session milestones, or medication refill notifications. Configure your EMR system to generate automated alerts based on these events or tasks. 

Customize the alert delivery methods (e.g., email, text message, or in-app notification) to suit your preferences. Regularly review and update your alert settings to ensure they align with any changes in your practice or patient needs.

Utilizing Voice Recognition for Faster Documentation

Documentation is a crucial aspect of occupational therapy, but it can be time-consuming and prone to errors. By leveraging voice recognition technology, integrated within occupational therapy documentation software.

Below are some tips for implementing voice-to-text features in your EMR system:

  • Assess the voice recognition capabilities of your current EMR system or explore third-party solutions.
  • Provide appropriate training to your staff to ensure accurate voice recognition and minimize errors.
  • Utilize voice commands for common tasks, such as navigating between fields or inserting standardized text.
  • Regularly update the voice recognition software to improve accuracy and compatibility with new medical terminology.

Integrating Wearable Tech Data

The rise of wearable technology has opened up new opportunities for occupational therapists to monitor patient progress and treatment outcomes more effectively. Integrating data from wearable devices into your EMR system, a key feature of advanced occupational therapy software, opens up new avenues for monitoring patient progress and engagement.

Integration of wearable technology with EMR systems has shown a 25% increase in patient engagement and adherence to treatment regimens. Here’s how you can leverage this powerful integration: Identify wearable devices compatible with your EMR system, such as fitness trackers, smartwatches, or medical-grade monitoring devices. 

Obtain patient consent and set up secure data syncing between wearable devices and your EMR system. Analyze the data collected from wearable devices to track patient progress, identify potential issues, and adjust treatment plans accordingly. Educate your patients on the benefits of sharing wearable data and how it can enhance their overall care.

Leveraging Data Analytics for Patient Outcome Improvement

Harnessing the power of data analytics within your occupational therapy EMR system can lead to significant improvements in patient outcomes, providing evidence-based insights for personalized care. By leveraging data analytics capabilities, you can identify trends, measure treatment effectiveness, and guide clinical decisions based on evidence and insights.

Here’s how you can harness the power of data analytics:

  • Familiarize yourself with the data analytics tools and reporting capabilities within your EMR system.
  • Identify key performance indicators (KPIs) relevant to your practice, such as treatment adherence rates, patient satisfaction scores, or therapy outcome measures.
  • Analyze data trends and patterns to identify areas for improvement or potential risk factors.
  • Use data-driven insights to optimize treatment plans, allocate resources effectively, and make informed decisions about patient care.

Comparison Table: EMR Hacks and Their Benefits

EMR HackBenefit
Customizing TemplatesIncreased efficiency (up to 30%) in documentation and data entry
Voice RecognitionReduced documentation time (20-30%) compared to manual entry
Automated AlertsDecreased missed appointments (up to 30%) and improved treatment adherence
Wearable Tech IntegrationIncreased patient engagement (25%) and adherence to treatment regimens
Data AnalyticsImproved patient outcomes (15-20%) through personalized treatment and early intervention

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How can I ensure data entered into the EMR is secure and compliant with healthcare regulations? 

Implement robust data security measures, such as encryption, access controls, and regular audits. Additionally, adhere to industry standards like HIPAA to ensure compliance.

  1. Can EMR customization interfere with interoperability between different healthcare providers? 

Proper customization should not impact interoperability if done within the guidelines and standards set by your EMR provider. Collaborate with IT teams to ensure seamless data sharing.

  1. What training resources are available for occupational therapists new to EMR systems? 

Most EMR providers offer comprehensive training materials, webinars, and customer support to assist with onboarding and ongoing education.


For occupational therapists, leveraging EMR technology is no longer an option but a necessity. By embracing these five EMR hacks – customizing templates, utilizing voice recognition, implementing automated alerts and reminders, integrating wearable tech data, and leveraging data analytics, you can revolutionize your practice, streamline workflows, and, most importantly, enhance patient care and outcomes.

Remember, the journey to optimizing your EMR utilization is an ongoing process that requires continuous learning, adaptation, and innovation. Embrace these strategies, stay up-to-date with the latest EMR advancements, and never stop seeking ways to elevate your occupational therapy practice through the power of technology.

About the Author

Jared Levenson is a former binge eating wrestler turned Zen Buddhist Monk, Internal Family Systems counselor and nutrition wellness coach. He's helped hundreds of people through universal meal principles and internal family systems to make peace with food, stop binge eating, and find true health and wholeness.


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