Go ahead, do a quick Google search for “point of sale software” and you’ll get thousands of results (59,800,000 results to be exact). There’s POS systems of every flavor from Square to Vend, but you’ll notice something interesting—they all kind of seem pretty much the same. It’s likely your merchant bank has even tried to give you a POS system.
But with 59 million POS systems out there, not a single one of them will work for your PT clinic. In this article, I’ll explain why.
Why haven’t rehab clinics by-and-large embraced POS programs for in-clinic retail?
It seems like a no-brainer, right? Just stock some products, and sell them for a bump in revenue generation, right? There’s a myriad of reasons this doesn’t work. For one, it’s pretty widely discussed in inner-circles that for the most part clinicians are typically averse to being a part of retailing products. They got into this field to help patients get better, not to peddle products. Plus, selling products is cumbersome and clunky, and takes more of their limited time.
Many of the organizations we’ve talked to report that therapists are actually more likely to give products away, since its in their nature to want to help the patient, as well as faster and easier. From a fiscal business perspective, this can have consequences. That bump in profits you hoped for more-often-than-not just becomes a big cash leak.
But let’s for a moment think about this all from the patient’s perspective. In order to follow a home exercise plan from their therapist, typically a patient is left to find and obtain their own rehab products. This means wandering the aisles of Walmart or Target trying to find something that will work, and often having to guess or make-due with whatever is on the shelf. The best and most advanced products that will truly help a patient’s recovery are simply not available in big box stores.
Then you consider POS software, and how it relates to a typical clinic workflow. Consider these questions as it relates to one of those 59 million POS systems.
- When a therapist is working with a patient, how do they go about recommending a product to the patient?
- Write it on a piece of paper and send them to the front desk?
- Or maybe walk them to the front desk and explain it?
- If the patient wants to obtain the products, do you charge them for their copay in the EMR, and then swipe their card a second time in a different POS terminal?
- How do you document the product sale and therapist recommendation in the patient record?
- How does an organization know which locations and which therapists are recommending products?
- How do you correlate the product recommendations to outcomes?
- How do you see the retail data in your EMR reports?
- How do you manage inventory effectively, when considering clinic supplies and retail sales?
- How do you manage replenishment orders and stock?
The bottom line is off-the-shelf POS software will never fit into a rehab clinic workflow.
Here’s a video that explains.