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Each year, Fusion helps hundreds of therapy clinicians and clinic managers perfect their practice, so they can continue providing care to those who need them. Because of this, we’ve become a bit of an expert in identifying areas of opportunity for therapy clinics – whether this is helping therapists expand their offerings to new populations or improving outcomes by streamlining their care delivery. One area we often help clinics fine-tune is occupational therapy for autistic patients.


Evaluating ASD and Why OT Matters

As an evidence-based practice that often takes a holistic approach, occupational therapy can be of great benefit for both pediatric and adult patients diagnosed with ASD. Since occupational therapy helps develop and maintain skills for everyday life – which are essential and build strong foundations for self-care, leisure, learning, and productivity – including OT in an autism care plan can have profound benefits.

Furthermore, Corinna Laurie, Clinical Lead OT with the NAS elaborates that, in her clinical experience, “those with sensory processing differences, often have co-occurring difficulties with posture, coordination and motor planning.” So beneficial are occupational therapy interventions with neurodivergent individuals, that, as an OT, you may even play a part in evaluating the severity of an ASD diagnosis.

Schedule a demo to see how Fusion can help your clinic grow.


Finding Patients

Most of the time, patients and/or their caregivers will rely on insurance to cover the cost of their occupational therapy. If you’re looking to begin or make a larger impact on this unique population, it’s important to build your referral pipeline by networking with developmental pediatricians, primary care providers, psychologists, and neurologists. Read up on the work they are doing, reach out with introductions, and when referrals do come in, ensure you are following up promptly and professionally to maintain that open door. Of course, as a caveat, ensure you are abiding by your state’s regulations and guidelines.

If you are practicing in a state that doesn’t require referrals or are working with largely self-pay clientele, consider surveying your existing patients to see how they discovered your clinic and continue your networking with special education schools and autism programs that connect those with ASD to helpful resources such as yourself.


Providing Excellent Patient Experiences

As always, one of the best ways to maintain the caseload you need to meet revenue goals is to foster patient retention. Provide seamless experiences with a tone of compassion and education to stay in your patient’s trust. Beginning with intake, make sure you are keeping clients abreast of what they can expect. Share documents via the patient portal from day one that introduce care delivery processes, staff, FAQs, billing, and insurance information, and whatever else may be helpful to take away with them. Outlining expectations can soothe a lot of anxiety that comes from care – regardless of your specialty.

And, speaking of intake, use streamlined electronic forms to help everything run smoothly and to collect all the information you will need to build a plan from the get-go. If you’re working with cases where the patient may struggle with mobility or sensory overload – offering telehealth options can be a great way to take pressure off visits – and help prevent no-shows. Likewise, if you’re working mainly with a parent or caretaker – your EHR must be equipped to handle those kinds of discrepancies in notetaking and permissions, so talk to your tech vendor to make sure you have what you need.


Fusion Brings Patients and Therapists Together

Whether you’re embarking on a new journey for your clinic or are looking to perfect your practice, Therapy Brands and Fusion are here to help. Our EHR has been designed by therapists and includes all the tools you need to provide excellent care for autistic pediatric and adult patients. Check out our features or schedule a demo to see how we can help your clinic grow.



Vanishing patients. No, they’re not magic, they’re the unfortunate reality for clinics across the country. And patients who don’t finish their course of physical therapy can have massive repercussions for your clinic. First, acquiring new patients requires far more man hours and funds than continuing with existing patients. Second, if patients aren’t having positive experiences with your team, this could harm your local reputation and damage your referral network.

So, what are the reasons patients don’t finish their physical therapy, and how can you increase their completion rate?


The Cause: They Aren’t Seeing Immediate Results

The Solution: At the risk of sounding like a broken record, change doesn’t happen overnight. And as much as we prepare our patients for this reality, it tends to go in one ear and out the other or fade from the forefront as the going gets hard. Set expectations with patients. From the get-go help them understand what each stage of their journey will look like. Help them see smaller goals that indicate progress. Learn to recognize signs of discouragement and take a moment to reflect on those benchmarks. A session of “hey, remember when..?” accompanied by pulling up previous session notes or visual representations of past assessments can help reignite hope and patience.


The Cause: It’s Too Expensive

The Solution:  Medical expenses are a large source of debt for many American households. Unexpected costs of treatment can derail an individual or a family’s finances and many don’t understand the intricacies of insurance. Before the initial visit, have office staff sit down with patients to help them understand the true financial commitment to treatment. Walk them through their options in clear language and consider implementing fee discounts for 100% self-pay patients.

Schedule a demo of Fusion – a speech, occupational and physical therapy EMR software.


The Cause: Life Happens

The Solution: We’ve all been there. Between soccer practice, that big meeting on Tuesday, your cousin’s wedding, and just needing a night to veg in front of the TV, our time is in high demand. If you’re seeing a trend of no-shows or last-minute reschedules or cancellations, it’s time to reassess your plan. Open a conversation with your patient about their time constraints, consider offering more at-home exercises if you think they can stick with it, or implement a telehealth platform to make it a little easier to adhere to their treatment plan.


The Cause: Mental Health Struggles

The Solution: Living with chronic pain can really drag us down. When our bodies become such an impediment to daily life, we can end up isolated, dehumanized, and depressed. Therefore, it’s so crucial for therapists to consider the relationship between the mind and the body and bring mental health to the forefront of treatment. Provide advice for improving mood, maintain an encouraging hand, and stress the positive outcomes in store by sticking with therapy.


The Cause: Living a Sedentary Life

The Solution: How many hours did you spend sitting today? Even with standing desks and lunchtime walks, these days we’re all living largely sedentary lives. Unfortunately, this isn’t usually conducive to maintaining the changes needed for positive outcomes. Take the time in the initial assessment to understand a patient’s lifestyle and don’t try to overhaul everything at once. Start with small changes and compromises that, over time, can amount to significant improvements.


Keep the Momentum Going

Remember, you’re not alone. Patient retention and no-shows are a huge pain point for clinics across America, and this is always at the forefront of our minds at Fusion. We’re here with software solutions to help clinicians create smarter treatment plans, generate positive outcomes (and positive revenue), and offer stellar experiences for patients. With features like telehealth, billing, note-taking and so much more, we can help you keep the momentum going with your patients. Schedule a demo today to see us in action today.



Research shows that quality patient communication remains a cornerstone in effective treatment. Patients should feel that their provider offers empathy coupled with quality communication when explaining a diagnosis and treatment plan.

As a healthcare provider, you should always take the time to review your patient’s understanding of the treatment plan to improve care and ensure long-term success. Patients tend to follow through successfully with directions and medical recommendations when they have a strong positive relationship with their healthcare provider.

The key components of effective patient communication include:

When the top three components of patient communication are met, the health outcomes and patient satisfaction tend to improve dramatically.

Communication plays a significant role in the patient/physician relationship. A patient will consider their quality of care exceptional if they have an effective communication foundation and interactions. A patient who has positive interactions with their healthcare provider tends to take a much more initiative-taking part in their treatment, care, and self-management.

The Effects of Communication Problems on Treatment Success

Communication problems lead to poor treatment success.

  • Studies have shown that one-third of patients who suffer from chronic illnesses often lead to them underusing their prescription medications due to a lack of funds and cost concerns that they do not share with their physician. The patient is often embarrassed to reveal financial concerns, or they simply do not feel comfortable discussing the problems with their healthcare provider. Often, they simply don’t feel like their physician will care if they cannot afford the prescribed medication.
  • Research showed that only half of all patients who have been hospitalized can identify the name of their medical diagnosis or the medications they are supposed to use upon discharge due to a failure in communication with their physician.
  • The Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report on Health Professions and Training carried out a study that showed that physicians and other healthcare professionals often have inadequate training in patient communication.

Core Communication Skills

IOM has made a strong push for licensing organizations and educators to bolster their professional training regarding patient communication. The outline of a strong patient-centered care model that shows the foundation of healthcare communication should be founded on core communication skills such as the following:

  • Open-ended inquiry
  • Reflective listening
  • Empathy

Successful patient communication should focus on working together to develop a plan that meets the emotional, physical, social, and economic needs of the patient. The patient should have a solid understanding of the plan and feel comfortable asking questions or voicing concerns or fears. A healthcare provider should always take the time to examine the patient’s understanding of the plan, especially if the patient is being discharged because you’ll want to ensure that they will remain home care compliant to decrease any readmission and ensure the success of their treatment plan.

Common Reasons Why a Treatment Plan Fails

A Health Care Quality Survey was carried out which found that 25% of Americans failed to follow their treatment plan due to the following reasons:

How to Foster Patient Satisfaction

Below are the following ways to better foster patient satisfaction to ensure treatment plan success:
  • Expectations: Always provide the patient with sufficient time to explain their story and goals with the treatment plan.
  • Communication: Physicians need to take the concerns and satisfaction of the patient seriously by explaining everything clearly and taking the time to understand how the patient feels.
  • Control: Let the patient take control of their own treatment plan by welcoming their concerns, ideas, and expectations during a conversation.
  • Decision: Patient satisfaction always increases when the patient’s physical, mental, and social functions are acknowledged.
  • Time: Physicians who take the time to address all issues increase patient satisfaction.
  • Referrals: Most patients prefer the healthcare team to manage all referrals.
  • Continued Care: Patients feel more satisfied when they continue to receive ongoing care from the practice and physician instead of having to go to a multitude of healthcare providers.
  • Ongoing Clinical Team: A patient’s satisfaction with the clinical team creates a positive treatment experience.
  • Dignity: A patient expects and deserves respect throughout the entire treatment process and with any healthcare decisions.

Patient Safety and Treatment Plan Success

When a treatment plan fails, it often occurs as a result of human and system errors. Studies carried out over 10 years (1995 to 2005) showed that ineffective communication causes 66% of all medical errors. If a healthcare team or physician fails to effectively communicate then all aspects of patient care start to falter and fail.

Malpractice Risk and Treatment Success

Research conducted by Huntington and Kuhn has revealed that the root cause of most malpractice claims stems from a breakdown between the patient and the physician.

Feeling supported, understood, valued, and listened to all matter when it comes to effective patient communication. It was found that 71% of all malpractice claims arose from a breakdown in the physician and patient relationship. Most patients believed that their physician simply did not care.


Practice management should always focus on fostering positive relationships between the patient and the healthcare team with open communication. When collaborating with a patient on a treatment plan, everyone needs to focus on taking the time for effective communication.

To better optimize your practice to ensure a positive patient experience, we invite you to contact us to learn more about Fusion Software. Our proactive management software focuses on making a positive impact on everyone involved. The goal is to ensure exceptional clinical and financial outcomes to pave the way for treatment success.

Contact us today for a free demo of Fusion!


As speech therapists, we set out to improve how our patients communicate. Whether working post-accident or alongside developmental challenges, we are masters of the art and science that takes bodily cognition, combine it with stronger muscles, and generates a robust voice for our patients. But our interventions not only help someone speak, in fact here are some life-changing impacts of speech therapy.

Short-Term Effects of Speech Therapy

Long-Term Effect of Speech Therapy

  • More Independence -As mentioned earlier, we rely on each other for so much, however, when we have a clear, strong voice, we can also maintain more independence, relying less on caretakers and being better able to express our wants and needs. This can help us live fuller, healthier lives, while simultaneously reducing caretaker burnout.
  • Improved Physical Health -Those living with speech disorders or who may be recovering from debilitating medical instances such as a stroke may have trouble mastering their motor skills. This includes swallowing and breathing, and we don’t need to tell you how critical these are for everyday life. With speech therapy interventions, patients can become less likely to choke and can quite literally breathe easier. Furthermore, the more capable an individual is of speaking, the more they can advocate for themselves and speak up when it comes to their medical care.
  • Decreased Anxiety -When living with a speech disorder or impairment of any kind, the world suddenly presents far more obstacles and opportunities for things to go wrong. Over time, a state of anxiety can shroud one’s perception of the world. Besides the emotional effects, prolonged anxiety can also contribute to other health factors. But with a vocal quality that can make it over life’s hurdles, we are able to circumvent many of these issues.
  • Stronger Understanding -The benefits of speech therapy go way beyond the in-the-moment comprehension of words, sounds, and ideas. But interventions can, in the long-term, help patients understand larger-scale concepts and ideas that may have been unattainable to them before.

Solutions that Help You Make a Difference

The work speech and language pathologists are doing may not seem all that eventful and often goes unsung, however, it is speech therapists who are making significant improvements in their patients’ lives every day. Fusion, which is now equipped for adult treatments, is here to help you continue to do the work you do. Designed by SLPs for SLPs, this intuitive EHR is full of features to streamline your workflows and note-taking, so you can get back to care-taking. Schedule a demo today.