How many times have you heard it said that the internet has transformed modern life? Indeed it's probably changed how you stay in touch with family and friends, purchase goods and services, and even search for information about health problems.
A variety of telehealth tools are available to help you manage your health care and receive the services you need. Are you taking advantage of them?
Telehealth is the use of digital information and communication technologies, such as computers and mobile devices, to access health care services remotely and manage your health care. These may be technologies you use from home or that your physical therapist uses to improve or support health care services.
Technology and Pristine In-Clinic Practices Make for Safe Physical Therapy Treatment During the COVID-19 Pandemic
COVID-19 seems to have stopped much of our world in its tracks. Once busy businesses are empty, activities are cancelled, family gatherings are postponed, and many are working, educating, and juggling childcare from home. But one thing that this virus has not stopped is pain, injury, and physical difficulties with daily tasks. Some were already struggling when stay at home orders were issued. Some are having more pain and greater functional decline as orthopedic procedures have been put on hold. Some are developing new injuries from time spent at the computer in a makeshift home office, doing clean-out projects, yard work or ‘Honey-Do’ chores, even from increased emotional or financial stress.
You do not have to continue to suffer; there are still safe, individualized, and “socially distanced” options for the physical therapy care you need. We are treating all our patients on a case by case basis, helping you choose the safest and best option. We believe for some, we can treat you in the clinic, minimizing your risk of exposure from seeking care elsewhere for musculoskeletal conditions and bridging the gap to manage pain and functional loss while waiting for cancelled elective procedures. However, for some of our most vulnerable patients, the risks of an in-person visit could outweigh the benefits, making a virtual telehealth visit the safest choice.
Our clinic is remains open and our team is diligently doing everything we can to combat virus spread. We are screening patients with questionnaires and temperature checks prior to care in the clinic, cleaning and sanitizing all equipment and surfaces to ensure our environment is pristine, social distancing by adjusting our scheduling practices and maintaining physical space >6 ft. between patients and staff, eliminating use of our waiting room and taking patients directly from the parking lot into care, advising all patients to wear a face mask/covering, and encouraging “Safer at Home” orders as issued by Governor Justice. If you are sick (fever, coughing, shortness of breath) or you have been around someone who is, please STAY HOME, ensuring the long-term health and safety of our community, patients, and staff is our top priority.
For some of our most vulnerable, at-risk patients and those uneasy about being in public as our state gradually reopens, telehealth visits may be the most appropriate choice. Technology via the internet, smartphones, and laptops with webcams have opened a new treatment avenue for our patients, allowing their PT to come to them while staying safe at home! The therapist uses a virtual platform for one-on-one interactions to examine a patient in real time, asking questions, assessing movements, and then educating them on some exercises or stretches to treat the pain. The therapist also uses video visits to review the patient’s home layout, safety concerns, and fall hazards to help them avoid future injury and complete their home program safely. Most insurers are now covering telehealth for physical therapy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and our therapists can easily walk you through the technology setup on your first visit.
Coronavirus hasn't stopped pain or injury, so the need for physical therapy remains just as strong as before. Despite the challenges and unusual circumstances presented by COVID-19, stringent safety practices in the clinic and creative use of virtual technology allows our talented team of physical therapists to continue delivering expert care to our patients. Our aim is to keep you healthy while helping you recover from your injury, pain, or functional loss while doing all we can to prevent virus spread. Please reach out to us to further discuss which of these options are safest for your unique situation. Your trust in and support for our small business mean the absolute world. Stay safe, take care of yourself, and protect others to #flattenthecurve.
Shanda & Glen McNew and Your PRO PT Family
Call our Kingwood office (304) 329-3739 or out Masontown office (304) 864-0111 with any questions or to set up an appointment.