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Patient Centered vs. High Volume Clinics
Posted on December 13th, 2017

While out meeting with a new doctor recently, she asked me "How is your clinic different than all the others?"  I gave my stock answer "We treat both pediatric and adult patients, and we are the only clinic in Madison to utilize the Postural Restoration treatment approach for pain and injury."  Yet, I feel compelled to add to my response.  After hearing ubiquitous responses from patients who have left other PT clinics in favor of ours, it turns out the services we offer are only one aspect of what makes us different.  

The term High Volume Clinic appeared in an article I was reading the other day.  A High Volume Clinic is one in which the PT sees anywhere from 3-4 patients an hour and spends about 15 minutes with each one.  From there, a non-licensed technician or another clinician takes over to finish the treatment, typically counting exercises and applying hot or cold packs.  We have earned a multitude of patients over the years who have "fired" their previous PT for basically the same reasons after being referred to such a clinic:

"I felt rushed to get in and get out every time I went.  It was very nerve racking and not a good experience."

"I saw one person for a few minutes, then was handed off to someone else for a few more minutes, then someone else would come by and do something else.  I never knew who my therapist was and never saw the original PT who did my evaluation.  I kept having to explain myself over and over again and felt like none of them were even listening because they were treating so many other people at the same time."

"A young girl had me pull on a band a few times, would leave me there pulling on the band for 15 minutes then come back and ask me if I'd done my 15 reps. She'd give me another exercise then leave again.  I just thought that was how PT worked.  She didn't check if I was doing it right or change anything when I told her it hurt when I did it.  Just told me to keep going then leave again.  I seemed pointless so I didn't go back."  

It is equally frustrating and embarrassing as a PT to hear those types of stories but trust me, I have heard them too many times to count in the last 12 years of working here at Compass PT.  It honestly gives our profession a bad name to learn that someone views PT as "pointless" because they were left to their own accord with no direction, and equally to hear that they felt "rushed" or like "one of a number" instead of a person with real concerns.  Nothing is more infuriating then having to re-explain your pain or injury every time you walk into an appointment to someone who appears to neither have time for you or show concern for your situation. 

What honestly makes us different is our philosophy.  At Compass Physical Therapy, we are patient-centered.  We work alongside each and every patient who enters our clinic through the entire physical therapy process.  We know who you are.  We know why you are here.  We work together as a team to give you an exceptional experience from the moment you are greeted by our office staff to the moment you leave your PT session.  It is not just talk when we say that it is our mission to provide exceptional customer service and physical therapy that is beyond expectation.  That is our culture, to be patient-centered.   Our PT's and LPTA's see one to two patients an hour depending on the level of care required.  The vast majority of the time, you are with the same therapist each visit as we make every effort to have continuity of care with each patient.  You will not feel rushed or ignored while you are here nor will you have to explain yourself or your condition multiple times because we listen and communicate with each other.  We do not employ technicians, therefore you will not be treated by an unlicensed professional rather by a licensed therapist for every visit.  With this practice, each of us can make real time changes to your plan of care as you progress through the healing process.  This ensures you will get well at the pace you should be.  Better therapy=less visits=less expense to you and quicker return to your life.

Is it time for you to fire your PT?  If you are not getting a patient-centered experience, perhaps it is.  You deserve to be healed in an environment that is focused on you, not packing in as many people as possible to pad the bottom line.  It is your choice where you attend physical therapy so call us today and experience what physical therapy should be.  

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