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Practice Management tip from Hippocrates and Galen

Techniques for managing physiotherapy and have come a long way since 460 BC (as have most things). How much have you got in common with the first physicians from ancient Greece?

Hippocrates and Galen were often described as the first physiotherapists, advocating massage, manual therapy techniques and hydrotherapy as solutions to physical ailments.

Hippocrates contributed much to healthcare through his categorisation of illnesses as acute, chronic, endemic and epidemic; while Galen once wrote that the best physician is also a philosopher.

What’s stopping you from being a philosopher?

Most likely, it’s the time required to philosophise! Private practitioners working in physiotherapy, osteopathy, podiatry and chiropractic clinics, struggle to find time to innovate because common day to day problems get in the way:

  • Admin tasks such as record keeping and note taking
  • Managing patient communications and filling cancelled appointments
  • Finding time to acquire new patients

We’d all like more time to innovate or philosophise (or simply get home from work in time to have dinner and watch a bit of TV), but the day to day management of a clinic gets in the way.

It is often the case that with new technology comes new administrative problems: Hippocrates and Galen didn’t have to worry about who would answer patient’s calls 24 hours a day; the ever growing ways in which patients want to be communicated with; the balancing act between providing a quality service to existing patients while attracting new patients.  

It’s also likely that they didn’t face fierce local competition from clinics providing similar services.

Hippocrates did spend 21 years in prison for his outspoken views on how the human body works however, so it wasn’t all plain sailing!

You might be more ancient Greek than you think

Some things are best left in 406BC. If you’re still using paper for patient records and note-taking then you may as well still think that the earth is flat and that disease is caused by superstition.

We can only imagine how pioneers such as Hippocrates and Galen would have jumped at the chance of electronic clinical note-taking or the opportunity to use electronic clinical records. Not just because of the innovative technology, but because it’s common sense!

You don’t need to be a philosopher to see the benefits of practice management software

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