Telehealth makes it possible for individuals to see and chat in real-time video with their Physical Therapists through the use of computers, smartphones, or tablets. Telehealth offers real advantages to patients and is becoming a popular option that enables patients to see and talk to their health care providers, including a growing number of PTs, from the comfort, safety, and convenience of their home.
Here are a few considerations and benefits of telehealth physical therapy:
- Accessibility: Telehealth can help you stay connected with your physical therapist after initial in-person visits. Telehealth may also increase your ability to connect and with a PT who is experienced in treating people with your condition who may not be near you. It also can help people who live in areas where access to physical therapy is lacking or people who have difficulty leaving their homes. It serves as an opportunity to ask questions, to receive direct feedback on your exercises, and to advance your home exercise program as needed to keep you on the right path to recovery.
- Home safety and comfort: If falling or your health is a concern, a virtual telehealth appointment with your PT is an opportunity to discuss ways to improve the safety of your home. Your physical therapist also can discuss what you should do if you fall or having safety concerns.
- Improved assessment: During a private telehealth visit, you will work one-on-one with your PT, without distractions. You also can involve family members or caregivers in your appointment, if you like in the safety of your home. Telehealth can give your PT an advantage because they can see you in your home environment. Physical therapists can observe you and assess your ability to navigate and take care of yourself in your home.
- Successful outcomes: Patients who take part in telehealth physical therapy are more likely to stick to their home exercise programs and achieving your PT goals. Your PT can provide you a safe and effective home exercise program to do at home based on your specific needs and goals. Sticking to your exercise prescription is a crucial part of your short and long-term success.
- Efficiency: There’s no waiting room and travel time! And after your telehealth appointment, you can quickly get back to what you were doing at home/work without having to spend time on the road. Telehealth works well for all people. We know that time is a valuable asset that hard to come by these days.
- Transportation: No need to drive to your PT appointment! A telehealth appointment reduces the burden of commuting to and from your PT appointments. Telehealth works well for all patients, those you don’t have a vehicle or easy access to transportation to those who have home demands such as caring for a child or elder family member.
- Control of infectious illness: To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, flu, and other infectious diseases, PTs can use telehealth appointments to prescreen patients for possible infectious disease. It also saves sick people from having to come in to the office. Less exposure to other people’s germs helps everyone, especially those who are chronically ill, pregnant, elderly or immunocompromised.
Studies show that telehealth physical therapy can result in equal or better outcomes.
The majority of patients who have participated in telehealth physical therapy were satisfied with their experience and would do it again. Patients expressed feeling connected and supported by their telehealth physical therapist. Having this support at home while going through rehabilitation is important for a success outcome.
Participate in telehealth physical therapy.
People of all ages with a variety of symptoms and medical conditions may be suitable for telehealth. A few examples of conditions for which a PT can help you virtually include:
- Safety and balance.
- Pre and post-operative care.
- Managing of chronic pain.
- Other conditions your PT determines are appropriate for telehealth.
Laws governing the use of telehealth services vary by state, so check with your PT and insurance company.
Considerations for telehealth physical therapy.
Telehealth may or may not be available in your area or may not be covered by your insurance provider. Additionally, for your initial PT evaluation, you likely will need to meet in person with your physical therapist to determine if telehealth physical therapy is the right approach for you.
Generally, you will need an email address and access to a computer or device that has a video camera and microphone such as your mobile phone or tablet. If your PT offers telehealth services, they will supply more details and instructions. Your PT will answer any questions or concerns you may have.
To advocate for telehealth physical therapy services for Medicare/Medicaid recipients, tell Congress to waive restrictions.
If you have questions about how telehealth and physical therapy may help you or someone you care about, please don’t hesitate to ask your health care provider or contact LeMoine Physical Therapy of Rosedale, Maryland at 410-918-0080 or visit https://lemoinephysicaltherapy.com/ for information.