The covid-19 pandemic situation and the new social distancing norms pushed several industries to go virtual, and the healthcare industry is not an exception. Telehealth services have become the new modern trend, and many physical therapy care centers are providing telehealth services to their patients.
Telehealth Physical Therapy and Its Benefits
Telehealth physical therapy is the new way physical therapy centers adopt to provide consultations and treatment to their patients over a technological platform rather than by physical means.
We all know that covid-19 is the most concerning condition these days for people and doctors worldwide. But the fact that people still suffer from other conditions and pains insists that physical therapy is the most needed service to live a pain-free life.
The introduction of telehealth services by several physical therapy centers at these tough times proves the care they show for their patients. Below are some of the benefits of telehealth physical therapy services.
- There is no need for any heavy devices. Just a mobile phone or laptop with a good internet connection does the best thing.
- Cost-effective when compared to visiting the physical therapy clinic.
- Time constraints as older adults and working professionals need not travel or wait a long time for an appointment.
- Benefits the patients who cannot travel due to mobility issues.
- Patients can schedule their appointment according to their convenience.
- Covid symptomatic patients can consult their therapist through virtual channels.
- Most importantly, the risk of contracting the virus can be minimized.
How To Prepare Your Patients For their First Appointment
The first telehealth appointment can be intimidating for some of your patients as this might be their first experience with such a virtual service. Especially, older adults might find it difficult to communicate freely with their therapist. To receive the best service and get the feel of in-person care, your patients need to be educated and provided with the following tips.
1) Ask Your Patients to Write Down Their Symptoms
As a first-time user of telehealth physical therapy service, your patient might forget to ask the key questions or tell about the important symptoms they experience. To avoid such conflicts, ask your patients to jot down their condition, symptoms associated with it, and how long they feel the symptoms.
It is reported that telehealth services are 20% shorter when compared to in-person visits as it allows the healthcare providers to see additional patients. To save time, advise your patients to write down the questions they would like to ask their therapist so that they get every question and doubt answered.
It is also important to take a photo of any inflammation caused by the injury to show the physical therapist during video consulting.
2) Have The Required Equipment
During a telehealth physical therapy service, the physical therapist consults the patients, examines them, and provides them with the exercises they need to perform. Hence the patients must be ready with the required equipment.
Ask your patients to bring an exercise ball, therapeutic band, blood pressure monitor, and other equipment necessary for their treatment. Having the necessary equipment helps both the patient and the therapist perform their telerehabilitation program perfectly.
3) Be Prepared with the Technological Devices
Advice, your patients to be prepared with their mobile device or laptop an hour before starting the telehealth program. Your patients should ensure that they have installed the necessary app or software and should have set up their account or login information provided by the physical therapy center.
Every software is different, and hence it is necessary to educate your patients on how to use the software for telehealth services through the mail.
Patients must ensure that their device is fully charged and have a reliable internet connection, either cellular or Wi-Fi. Urge your patients to test their devices and internet connection before their first appointment.
4) Advice Your Patients to Find a Quiet Place for The Telerehabilitation
If your patient is disturbed by his/her kid or pet animals, or any noise in the background, it will interrupt your telehealth program. To avoid such challenges, ask your patients to find a quiet spot in their homes for their consultation.
Advise them to use headphones or earbuds while doing rehab exercises to get rid of such disturbances. In addition, your patients should ensure good lighting in the room from where they are attending the video consultation.
Telehealth physical therapy services might have some limitations, but they benefit several patients who could not visit the clinic at these tough times. In addition, research shows telehealth services offer increased accessibility for both patients and doctors. Though the first appointment feels confusing for the patients, the telerehabilitation program would be successful by providing them with the proper assistance.