Top Tech Tools to Improve Efficiency for Your Practice During COVID and Beyond
By: Nataliya Zlotnikov, MSc, HBSc
By: Nataliya Zlotnikov, MSc, HBSc
These Are the Days of Our COVID
Similar to Days of Our Lives, one of the longest-running scripted television programs in the world (first aired in 1965), it feels like COVID has been here almost as long.
Social isolation, both professionally and socially, has left so many of us unable to perform our daily interpersonal tasks as we are accustomed to. But it's been a while, and as people and as healthcare professionals, have been so resilient!
We've Taken the Leap!
Many of us have made the technological leap during the pandemic and started using telerehabilitation, virtual home exercise programs and more. We know that there are so many online tech tools that can facilitate and improve your business, workflow, brand, and treatments that it can become confusing to know which is best for you.
There are some amazing tech tools that can improve your processes and create efficiencies in your practice. Whether you’re a clinic owner, aspiring clinic owner or independent contractor, you can use these simple tools to save time, improve your workflow and make your day easier, both during COVID and beyond.
Our Tech Tools blog has been divided into 2 parts: Part I (today's blog) will discuss efficiency, collaboration and design (marketing) tools.
Keep an eye out for our next Tech Tools blog in which we will discuss some of the top tech tools for physiotherapists and other rehabilitative professionals.
Today's blog was originally posted on the CPA Private Practice Division and written by Embodia co-founder, physiotherapist Maggie Bergeron.
Efficiency, Collaboration and Design (Marketing) Tools
1. Google Drive - Collaborate
Google Drive is the best way to share and collaborate with colleagues, and it’s free to use - all you need is a Gmail email address. Think branding, marketing, clinic policies and anything else on the business side that you want input from others, all in one place.
There are a couple of things to take consider with Google Drive including privacy. You can read the security and privacy section of the full Google Drive review. Don’t share patient information or anything containing personal health information (PHI) on Google Drive, but for the purposes of sharing marketing and clinic documents, Google Drive is a great way to collaborate with a team. You can create a document on Drive (like a word or excel document) and share it as a live document so anyone you invite can edit or write comments in real-time.
2. Trello - Project Management
Here at Embodia, we use Trello to manage all of our projects. It serves as an assistant to help execute the sometimes overwhelming number of individual tasks associated with the project. You can set deadlines on projects, tag colleagues and write notes about the project all in one spot; a meeting spot of sorts to keep all involved and on the same page. The real value of the tool - it saves the user time searching through long email threads. It also helps ease the task of remembering, organizing and following through with tasks.
Using Trello we can keep projects organized and track progress. We continue to use the free version of Trello to this day with our growing team.
3. Canva – Photo Design
We’re not trained in design as physiotherapists, and while some of us may have a natural knack, you probably don’t have the time to spend learning or using complicated design tools like Photoshop.
Using Canva, you can quickly and easily design beautiful posts for all of your social channels. Have you ever wondered how so many brands get their image sizes perfect for each social media platform? Canva does it for you – they provide all of the proper sizing for all the major social media platforms.
Upload your images, choose which social platform you are posting to, add text and other simple design items, and you’re done!
This is the only tool that I (Maggie) pay for ($12.95/month) on this list and it is absolutely worth it. There is a basic free version but we upgraded to pay to use the ‘Magic Resize’ feature where Canva will resize any of your images for the social platform of your choice and custom fonts which allows us to use our brand fonts.
4. Later – Scheduling
So now that you have beautiful social media images, how do you post them? We used to log in to our Embodia social accounts every day until we discovered scheduling tools such as Hootsuite and on Facebook itself (learn how to schedule posts on your Facebook page here). Hootsuite is a great tool to post on all of the major social media sites. Hootsuite was previously not available for Instagram but it is now. However, Hootsuite's free IG version can be quite limiting.
Instead, we have found that Later is the best way to schedule Instagram posts ahead of time. Using their free version you have 1GB of storage and you can add up to 10 team members.
5. Slack – Messaging
Depending on the size of your team and the way that you communicate, you may find a messaging app is useful for your team. Slack was designed for business messaging. Slack helps simplify communication, particularly if you have a big team or multiple clinics. We love Slack at Embodia and use it for most of our communication.
You can sign up to Slack for free and immediately start to use their instant message feed and create Slack channels. Some examples of our channels are ‘Marketing’, ‘Events’ (sharing events happening in the city and events we’re attending) and ‘General’. Now there are even team games such as trivia that you can play via Slack - take that social isolation!
6. Embodia – Zoom for Healthcare
With the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an influx in the use of Zoom for remote telecommunication and with it, a backlash over its privacy and security policies.
The general Zoom account are not subject to the same privacy and security obligations that Zoom healthcare requires. Embodia entered into a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement with Zoom (here is the final signed agreement) that lists their obligation to keep Zoom for Healthcare secure and compliant. You can also refer to this document for additional information on how they are ensuring HIPAA, PIPEDA and PHIPA compliance.
Our telerehab tool is free for Embodia Members (membership is $15/month and CPA members get 25% off, bringing the cost to only $11.25/month).
Take a look at our previous blog post, Zoom for Healthcare to learn more.
Or at our free online course Telerehabilitation on Embodia, to learn more about it.
More Healthcare Tech Courses
If you're interested in learning more about healthcare and technology, check out some of our online healthcare courses below:
- Technology in Healthcare
- Introduction to Technologies for Rehabilitation (upon which Part II of this blog is based)
- Tanja Yardley and Allan Macdonald on the Future of Physiotherapy
We hope you join us for Part II of our Tech Tools blog, Top Tech Tools for Rehabilitative Healthcare Professionals, to learn more about how tech can improve, enhance and simplify your rehabilitative practice.