SOAP notes, which help medical professionals better document and assess the efficacy of medical care, are not unique to massage therapy. While many massage therapists skip writing and creating SOAP notes altogether, the truth is that they have a number of benefits. This includes anything involving medical insurance, and if you massage therapy business is clinical in nature, then it is more likely that you’ll want to create SOAP notes.
However, before understanding the benefits of creating SOAP notes, it is important to understand just what they are. SOAP notes are based off an acronym that stands for Subjective, Objective, Assessment, and Care. Understanding how these four components contribute to a patient’s care is crucial, and many massage therapists work in conjunction with physical therapists or chiropractors in order to get the best results. With that in mind, here are four reasons why you should be creating SOAP notes for your massage therapy business.
Track a patient’s progress
SOAP notes help to create a record of treatment for a patient. This is particularly important for massage therapists who often provide interdisciplinary care for patients and need to track how their holistic health is improving. These SOAP notes are likely to be shared with a supervising physician, so it is important to review a massage therapy SOAP note example when creating these so that they align with the overall goals of a client’s progress.
It is often said that communication is key, and this is particularly true in the medical field. SOAP notes allow you to document a patient’s communicated needs, including their chief complaint and how they feel that massage therapy treatment has improved their overall ailments. This can help you to create a comprehensive history of a patient’s care to help you to communicate to both the patient and to any other medical professionals they are working with, including specialists and their general practitioner.
For future reference
Creating a plan of action for massage therapy is only possible if you can regularly refer to your SOAP notes. If you are working with many different massage therapy patients, it is important to be able to remember their previous visits and what their overall plan of treatment is. Being able to stick to this plan and refer back to it when needed is important for massage therapists who are looking to expand into a more clinical role.
Unfortunately, it may sometimes be the case that a patient feels that you have exacerbated their issues with massage therapy. In case they are looking to bring a lawsuit or other legal action against you, it is important to have documentation to prove that you have been providing them with the treatment that you have claimed. Doing this will lessen your legal liability and help you to fend off any potential charges of malpractice or other offenses.
These four reasons should be enough to convince you that your massage therapy practice needs to document its interactions with patients through SOAP notes. While you may be able to get away with foregoing this process when you are just starting out, there will come a time where you treat a larger variety of patients who have a whole host of ailments. Before that is the case, it is important to master the practice of writing SOAP notes so that you do not run into any legal issues and are able to document and communicate everything clearly about a patient’s treatment plan.