What Is The Benefit Of Using SOAP Notes? + Templates

updated on

May 16, 2024

Benefits of using SOAP Notes

As a wellness provider, you're likely familiar with SOAP notes—the systematized way to document each patient encounter. And while you understand what they are, you might be questioning the importance of systematic note-taking. It does take up a lot of your time afterall. But it's important to note that the benefits of using SOAP notes are significant, and here's why.

In this article, you will learn:

  • How SOAP notes ensure consistent patient follow-ups.
  • Their importance in enhancing communication with other providers.
  • The efficiency gains from switching to digital SOAP notes.
  • What to include in a SOAP notes template for high-quality care
  • SOAP note examples & free templates

Let’s dive into why making SOAP notes a standard part of your practice could be a game changer in how you manage and provide care.


What Is The Benefit Of Using SOAP Notes?

It’s not possible to remember the details of every treatment you provide. Plus, you can’t share that information if it’s not written down. The main benefit of using SOAP Notes is that it’s a universal system for recording patient treatment details and benchmarks, making it easy to document and share information.

Understanding a patients history is a key factor in understanding how to treat them in the future - you can identify patterns, and judge the efficacy of the treatment modalities you are providing.


SOAP Notes Can Also Help You:

  • Track client progress
  • Stay organized
  • Share information with other healthcare providers
  • Share information with insurance companies
  • Share information in multi-therapist clinics
  • Reference previous sessions

Let’s explore these benefits in detail.

what are the benefits of using SOAP notes?

Track Client Progress

The primary benefit of using SOAP Notes is to track progress. When a client comes in with a specific problem, it’s essential to record treatment details, improvements and regressions. Those notes paint a picture of what’s working - and what isn’t.

Even if you’re not trying to solve a specific problem, you still need to keep notes. How many times has a client said, “I really loved what you did last time!” You can’t rely on memory to recreate every experience.

Stay Organized

Using a standard form, or SOAP Note is a simple way to stay organized. Use a professional template to create all your SOAP Notes. This will create consistency in your note-taking. Plus, it’ll be much easier to scan and find what you’re looking for.

If you don’t have a template yet, download our free SOAP Note Template.

Share Information With Other Healthcare Providers

If you have multiple massage therapists in your practice, you need a system for organizing and sharing information. If more than one therapist treats the same client, they need access to previous treatment details. SOAP Notes are a way to easily share information.

Plus, using professional forms helps establish your credibility with other providers.

Share Information With Insurance Companies

If an insurance company is paying for the treatment, they may want treatment details. SOAP Notes are the easiest way to share injury descriptions, progress and the number of subsequent sessions needed.

You can use SOAP Notes to record and design a massage therapy treatment plan. The benefit of using a SOAP Note is that there's no need to create new documents for sharing.

Share Information In Multi-Therapist Clinics

If you have multiple massage therapists in your practice, you need a system for organizing and sharing information. If more than one therapist treats the same client, they need to be able to access previous treatment details.

Aside from easy sharing, here is another benefit of using SOAP Notes in your practice: When everyone in the clinic is recording information the same way, working together is seamless.

Reference Previous Sessions

Sometimes, a client will come to you with an issue you resolved for them before. If you keep detailed SOAP Notes, you can look back and see how you helped them previously. You might even be able to identify a theme related to their issue. For instance, the same activity may have caused the same flare-up before.

Having insight regarding what worked before (and what didn’t) can help you provide more effective treatment. Bonus, your clients will be impressed if you remembered their history.

free SOAP notes template

Are SOAP Notes Mandatory?

While SOAP Notes aren't legally required, they are highly recommended for healthcare providers, including massage therapists, PTs, OTs, and acupuncturists. They offer a standardized way to document care, ensuring seamless continuity and providing protection in clinical and insurance-related settings—a wise and professional practice to embrace!

Integrating SOAP Notes into your practice isn’t just a smart choice—it’s a game changer for maintaining high-quality care. These notes help you keep detailed records of patient treatments and progress, which supports better decision-making and ensures smooth continuity of care. Plus, they're invaluable for safeguarding your practice in legal or insurance matters. It’s a practical step that shows your commitment to providing thorough, attentive care.

SOAP notes template streamline care

How Do SOAP Notes Help With Clinical Efficiency

SOAP Notes streamline your practice by providing a clear, standardized way to document and track each patient's care. This organized approach enhances decision-making, ensures important details are readily accessible, and facilitates easier coordination and information sharing—essential for delivering consistent and effective care.

In the article 6 things to look for in SOAP Notes software, we talk about the 6 key reasons why they are paramount, in a nutshell, those 6 things are: 

SOAP Notes should be:

  1. Integration
  2. Customization
  3. Ease Of Use
  4. Secure Storage
  5. Digital Intake Forms
  6. Accessibility

What Are The Advantages Of Digital SOAP Notes

Digital SOAP Notes are the way to go if you want to save time, save space, and share information quickly and securely. When you use digital SOAP Notes, they’re stored securely in the cloud. You can access your files in a single click, and share them without printing or faxing. 

Paper SOAP Notes are becoming a thing of the past. You used to need a printer, mountains of paper, a locked filing cabinet, and a fax machine to manage your SOAP Notes, but modern practices use digital SOAP Notes. 

Here Are The Benefits Of Digital SOAP Notes:

  • Encrypted cloud storage for HIPAA compliance and security
  • Access SOAP Notes anywhere, anytime
  • Fill out forms quickly
  • No need to organize or file anything
  • Perfect for therapists who do home visits or do admin at home
  • Easily share information within your practice

Going digital takes the benefits of SOAP Notes to the next level. See for yourself our SOAP Notes free trial.

What Should You Include In A SOAP Note Template?

When looking at a SOAP note for massage therapy, it is important to look for subjective information provided by the client about their condition, objective observations made by the therapist, assessments and evaluations of the client's condition, and a plan for treatment, including goals and outcomes. Additionally, any changes in the client's condition from previous sessions should be noted.

In addition to the key elements mentioned previously, you should also look for information about the client's medical history, any relevant medications they are taking, and any precautions or contraindications that may impact the massage therapy session. It is also important to review the therapist's notes on the massage techniques used, the client's response to the treatment, and any recommendations for self-care or follow-up sessions. Finally, the note should include any relevant communication or collaboration with other healthcare providers involved in the client's care.

Soap notes examples

How Do You Customize SOAP Note Templates?

ClinicSense is one of the first massage therapy software solutions to offer customizable massage therapy templates! This means you can create a SOAP Note template from scratch and save it to use on a regular basis, or for a particular client!  Our solution also offers point and click short code functionality - meaning that you can set up a short code for something one time, and use it forever without having to waste time or energy typing detailed notes.

What Does SOAP Note Stand For?

SOAP note stands for Subjective, Objective, Assessment, and Plan. It is a standard method of documentation used in healthcare, including massage therapy, to record and track a client's progress over time. The subjective section includes the client's self-reported symptoms and concerns, the objective section includes the therapist's observations and measurements, the assessment section includes the therapist's professional evaluation of the client's condition, and the plan section outlines the proposed treatment approach and goals for future sessions.

SOAP notes are important for massage therapists because they provide a structured and consistent way to document and communicate important information about a client's condition and treatment plan. This can help ensure continuity of care, facilitate collaboration with other healthcare providers, and support evidence-based decision-making. Additionally, SOAP notes can help protect the therapist from liability by documenting informed consent, contraindications, and other important aspects of the client's care.

Why Should You Consider SOAP Note Software?

As a wellness provider, using SOAP note software can provide many benefits. First, it can save time and increase efficiency by automating the process of creating and organizing SOAP notes. This can free up more time for the therapist to focus on providing quality care to their clients.

SOAP note software can also improve the accuracy and completeness of notes, reducing the risk of errors or omissions that could impact the client's care. The software can provide prompts and reminders for important information that should be included, such as medical history, treatment goals, and follow-up recommendations.

In addition, SOAP note software can improve communication and collaboration with other healthcare providers by enabling easy sharing and access to client records. This can enhance the quality of care and support a more coordinated approach to treatment.

Finally, using SOAP note software can help massage therapists stay compliant with legal and regulatory requirements for record-keeping and documentation. This can provide peace of mind and reduce the risk of potential legal or ethical issues arising from incomplete or

Even if you're not quite ready for practice management software, we can help!

Free Printable SOAP Notes Template

We've put together a free printable SOAP note template that you can use for clients that are visiting you to resolve a specific pain point.

You can download it HERE.

Of course, as you grow you might find running your business via pen and paper is simply not scalable. As you get more clients and book more appointments, the paperwork starts to pile up, becoming difficult to keep organized and even taking up too much physical space in cabinets.

Once you switch to clinic management software you'll find:

  1. You spend less time managing paperwork
  2. You spend more time caring for clients
  3. You feel the relief of being more organized

If you are ready to see how clinic management software can make your life easier, you can click here to try ClinicSense for free.

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