5 Steps to Empower Your Physical Therapy Staff & Scale Your Practice

The 5 Steps For Empowering Physical Therapy Staff To Help Scale Your Practice

Are you tired of your Therapists & Staff Not Following Your Systems?

Today we’re going to talk about how to get your staff to follow through on your systems.

Why? Because the key to having an effective business, the kind you can scale up, is by having SYSTEMS.

But your systems are worthless if your staff don’t follow through on them.

In this post you’ll learn how to make your staff become intrinsically motivated to use your systems, how to hold them accountable and how to start seeing results improve in your business.

A question came up recently in our BPTM Inside Circle Facebook group, which is our “secret Facebook group” of over 400 owners who have gone through our Killer Marketing Training.

The question was,

“I know about the 7 Step Killer Exam and I have other systems that I learned about in Killer Marketing, but I’m having trouble getting my therapists to do them.”

When I saw that question it made me stop and think.

This is a problem that EVERY business owner goes through. Whether they’re veterans of private practice, or an auto mechanic shop owner.

Whatever the business, all owners go through a period where they struggle to get their staff to follow PROVEN systems.

So believe me, if you’re going through this problem, you’re not alone.

Today I’ll show you the system we’ve been using for 12 years to get our staff to follow our systems such as the 7 Step Killer Exam.

But before that, a brief reminder of what systems are and why they’re important to your business.

What Exactly Is A System In Your Business

Breakthrough PT Marketing Systems

When I have conversations with private practice PTs owners this usually comes up,

“I know that systems are important, but I really need to put them in place.”

I’d then ask, “What systems are you looking at, or that you’ve implemented?”

They’d usually reply with “Well… we have some financial systems in place.”

But that’s a WIDE system. It’s a system which doesn’t focus down and improve on what’s important to your business.

So…what exactly is a system?

Here’s the BPTM definition of a system:

A system does two things.

1.) It increases your EFFICIENCY


The goal of a system is to do the same thing over and over which improves your business, whether it’s you executing it or somebody else.

The difference between a business that can sell and a business that can’t because it’s too reliant on the owner, are SYSTEMS.

How To Get Your Therapists To Follow Your Systems

PT Therapist Business Systems

So here are 5 steps you can use to help your therapists realize the importance of your systems.

The key is that it makes THEM realize that they need to use your system.

It’s one thing telling them what to do, it’s another them being intrinsically motivated to carry out the system themselves.

We’ll use the 7 Step Killer Exam as an example. It’s one part of our Killer Marketing training, and is essentially 7 questions to ask during the history portion of the initial exam.

Why? Because these questions increases the number of patients who schedule out and complete a full plan of care.


Have the therapist – not you, the therapist –  carry out an assignment. Over the next week they should go back 60 days and list each IE that they’ve seen.

E.g. Patient #1 is Mary Smith. Patient #2 is John Jones etc etc.


Once they’ve listed out every patient, have the therapist go through each patient and ask this simple question:

Did X Complete Their Plan of Care? Yes or No.

Using our initial example it would be, “Did Mary complete her plan of care? Yes or No”

Then the follow up question will be,

“If not, what was the reason she dropped off?”

They should write down the exact reason the patient dropped off. It could be a medical reason. Maybe the therapist was seeing her for her shoulder and it was preventative…or trying to treat it conservatively and she actually needed a rotator cuff repair.

Whatever the reason have the therapist list it out.

Then afterwards they should write down the total number of visits they saw Mary for.

E.g. if she was in for 4 visits before she realized she needed surgery, they should write that down. If she did complete her plan of care, maybe for 10 or 12 visits, they should write that down.

So in summary they should write down for each patient.

“Did X complete their Plan of Care? Yes or No?”

“If not, what was the reason they dropped off?”

“How many visits did you see them for?”


They should continue this for the entire upcoming month. If they see 21 new patients in that month, they should list them all out in report format.

(You can do this with a simple sheet of notebook paper, or use a Microsoft Word or Excel document. Whatever works for you.)


They submit it to you, you don’t submit it to them.

This is important.

A lot of us in private practice PT rely on ourselves to generate the metrics and numbers.

But this isn’t good. You shouldn’t be the bottleneck.

Furthermore this actually hurts the system.

As the therapist goes through and fills in this report they’re going to have their own realizations.

If they get to the bottom of their sheet and there are no patients above 6 visits, there is a major major problem there, and they’ll know it.

You won’t even have to say anything. Often they’re realize it themselves and are going to have their own realization and say “Crap, I’m a lousy PT. No-one is completing their plan of care. How can I change this?”

They’ll actually be coming to you, asking for information, asking for help.

Which comes to our next step…


Follow up regularly, specifically if there is a problem.

Let’s say they’ve filled in the report, and they’ve realized that very few of their patients are completing their plan of care.

When they come to you for help, you’ll give them some advice, and then you’ll ask this question,

“What changes are you going to make?”, “What are you going to do to improve this?”

To continue our example, they decide upon three major changes. They go,

“Okay, I’m going to learn the 7 Step Killer Exam and practice that with every patient. I’m going to have every single patient schedule out their full plan of care on the first visit. And I’m going to start smiling when I walk in the room.”

This is all hypothetical by the way.

So when they say this, you follow up one or two weeks later, it’s up to you, and you have a look at it again,

“How did you do?”

“Well I forgot to smile. I kind of let that drop.”

“Let’s put it in again.”

Then you follow up in two weeks.

This way they’re held accountable with this regular meeting.

You start to build inertia and momentum with these meetings.

Instead of being the private practice owner who just talks at their staff for 30 minutes to an hour every quarter, and no changes are made, you have a regular touch base meeting with each member of staff and you start to see results improve.

Do you see the power of this system?

Do you see how it makes your staff take action, and are intrinsically motivated to do it themselves?

You go from the approach of being the boss and telling them what to do, to being a coach and helping them hit their goals.


So that’s the system.

If you want to see your staff start to take up your systems without you yelling and bullying them into it follow these 5 steps:

  1. Have the therapist list out a set of names or metrics over the past 60 days. For the 7 Step Killer Exam, we have our therapists list out all their IEs.
  2. Have them look at each of the metrics and judge whether it was a success or not. If it wasn’t why? Using our earlier exam we get the therapist to look at whether patients carried out their full plan of care.
  3. Have them do it for the upcoming month.
  4. Make them carry out the exercise and submit it to you – not the other way around.
  5. Have a regular meeting to hold them accountable.

Till next time,


P.S. Want to know more about systems?

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