Templates improve efficiency and help standardize care by allowing you to create a set of exercises and education that you can prescribe to any number of patients while customizing it to fit their individual needs.
In this article, we’ll answer frequently asked questions about creating templates.
How do I create a template?
Creating a template is as simple as building a home exercise program. Learn more about creating and managing templates.
How can templates improve my workflow?
Templates can save you time when you’re building a program so you can spend less time building programs and more time working directly with patients.
One way is to build a template for exactly the program you need. For example, if you routinely see postoperative knee patients, you probably have 3–5 exercises and education resources you assign to every patient. If you create a template program, you can assign this program in fewer clicks than it would take you to search the HEP builder.
Another way to use templates is to use them to collect your favorite exercises. The MedBridge HEP builder features more than 8,000 exercises, and it can be a lot to sift through. To make your workflow more efficient, you can create a template for a body region, such as the knee or the back, and add your 20–30 favorite exercises to that template. That way, when you’re building a program, you can look through a few dozen exercises instead of thousands.
How can templates improve my organization’s workflow?
You can save your staff time by using templates in the ways described above. However, as an organization, you can also use templates to standardize care across the organization.
You can create templates for specific patient types or diagnoses and communicate to your staff that you expect them to use those templates. This helps ensure that patients are getting consistent treatment across multiple providers.
Taking time to create templates can help you improve outcomes for a specific population by controlling variables. If every hip replacement patient is getting the same exercise program, for example, you can then identify what other factors may be causing variance in their outcomes.
How many exercises and pieces of education are in an ideal template?
This largely depends on how you want to use the template. If it’s meant to be used as is, we recommend you keep programs short so it’s easy for your patient to engage, so 3–5 exercises and 1–2 pieces of education is ideal.
If your goal is to use templates to store your favorite exercises for certain patient populations or diagnoses, you can add as many resources as you like. However, we recommend you don’t put more than 30 items in a template. Even if you use the template as a foundation from which you remove items for each patient you are modifying the template for, having more than 30 exercises and pieces of education will be hard to keep track of.
Is there a limit to how many items you can put into a template?
There is no limit as to how many exercises and education can be put into a template. However, we recommend you don’t put more than 30 items in a template. See previous question for more information.
How many templates can I make?
In the MedBridge HEP builder, you can make as many templates as you like. There is no right number of templates, what’s right for your organization will vary based on your needs. The most important thing is that the number of templates you create makes sense for you and your team. You want to make sure that each template adds value and that it will be used.
How should I name my templates?
The best naming convention is the one that makes the most sense to you and your team. If there are naming conventions you use for other internal documentation, it’s best to use a similar system for your templates to reduce confusion.
Here are a few naming strategies that we have found effective.
- Activity-based naming: You may find that you regularly address a variety of exercises and activities in one session—for example, you may target preparatory activities for toileting, grooming/hygiene, and bed mobility. You might create a template with the appropriate exercises and education and label it something like “Prep Activities ADLs: Level 1.”
- Diagnosis-based naming: Another option is basing naming on the patient's diagnosis. For example, if you’re focusing on compensatory techniques to safely manage a patient’s affected arm after a stroke, you might create and assign a template with the appropriate patient education labeled “Compensatory UE Strategies PE.”
- Skill-based naming: You might also have another template with UE exercises intended for a patient with more severe tone in their affected arm that you can prescribe as well labeled “Scapular Stabilization & UE WB: Max A HEP.”
What are some tips for building a good template?
Each template you create should have a clear goal and purpose. What that purpose is depends on your setting, your patients, and your workflow. For example, an inpatient rehab OT might use templates differently from an outpatient orthopedic PT or acute care SLP.
Here are some guiding questions with some example responses from the point of view of an outpatient pediatric OT. You can use these to identify the purpose of each of your templates.
- What is the goal of this template? “The goal of this template is to provide education to parents about sensory processing. This helps them to understand some of the drivers behind their child’s needs and behaviors that are impacting their participation in their daily activities.”
- When would I typically prescribe this template? “I use this template to prescribe patient education to parents at the end of an evaluation so they can learn about sensory processing and emotional regulation in their child before they come in for their first treatment session.”
Another factor to consider is the length of your templates. You should make sure the length of each template is appropriate for the audience. For patients who have shorter episodes of care (a few days), less is usually more. For patients who have longer episodes of care (a few weeks to months), you may be able to provide more exercises and education at one time and continually modify and add to their program.