- Telehealth physical therapy allows busy patients to achieve success from home.
- Providing virtual appointments helps engage patients by offering convenience and lower cost.
- Therapists benefit from virtual visits with increased flexibility, reduction of travel time, shorter visits, and improved patient outcomes.
- Any therapy practice can offer this service with the use of the right software and technology tools.
If you’re like most physical therapists, you’re always looking for ways to improve your practice and better serve your patients. You may have considered adding telehealth to your repertoire of services, but weren’t sure if it was the right fit for your practice.
Here’s a look at what telehealth physical therapy is, how it can benefit your patients, and what you need to do to make it work for your practice.
What is Telehealth Physical Therapy?
Telehealth physical therapy is the use of technology to deliver physical therapy services remotely. This can be done via video conferencing, phone calls, or even email.
There are a number of reasons why a patient might choose to receive physical therapy via telehealth. Some may live in a rural area without easy access to a physical therapist. Others might have transportation issues or be unable to take time off work for appointments.
In some cases, patients may simply prefer the convenience of receiving physical therapy services from the comfort of their own home.
Telehealth physical therapy can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions, including:
- Neck and back pain
- Joint pain (knees, elbows, shoulders, etc.)
- Neurological conditions
- Balance disorders
- Sports injuries
How Telehealth Physical Therapy Can Benefit Your Patients
While research is new in this field, currently available studies, such as this one published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, have found physical therapy to be as effective as in-person visits.
When done thoughtfully, telehealth physical therapy sessions can offer the same opportunity to build trust and rapport between therapist and patient as in-person visits. Virtual therapists can achieve the same positive outcomes and patient satisfaction.
Other benefits of teletherapy physical therapy for patients include:
- Convenience. With telehealth appointments, patients can receive high-quality care without having to travel to a clinic or take time off work. Telehealth physical therapy appointments are often shorter than in-person appointments, and they cut out travel time, which makes them even more convenient for busy patients.
- Flexibility. Patients have the flexibility to choose a time that works for them, and they can receive physical therapy services in the comfort of their own homes. This can be especially beneficial for patients who are self-conscious about their injuries or those or feel uncomfortable in a clinical setting.
- Lower cost. Telehealth visits are typically less expensive than office visits. They also eliminate the costs associated with travel to appointments.
- Improved outcomes. Patients who have more convenient, less expensive options are more likely to follow through with their treatment plans, leading to better outcomes.
How Telehealth Physical Therapy Can Benefit Therapists
Telehealth also offers numerous benefits for therapists. By adding telehealth services to your practice, you can:
- Attract new patients. Offering the convenience of telehealth services can help you reach a broader patient base and attract new patients who may not have considered physical therapy in the past.
- Increase income. Telehealth appointments are often shorter than in-person appointments, which means you can see more patients in a day. This can lead to an increase in income for your practice.
- Reduce or eliminate travel time. Therapists who travel to see patients can limit or even discontinue road time, allowing them to see more patients each day.
- Increase success rates. Again, teletherapy can result in better outcomes for patients who may be more likely to keep up with their therapy because of the convenience and cost effectiveness of virtual visits.
How To Make Telehealth Physical Therapy Work for Your Practice
If you’re considering adding telehealth physical therapy to your practice, here are a few tips to help with a successful transition.
Find the Right Platform
First, you need to choose the right platform. There are a number of different telehealth platforms available, so it’s important to find one that’s user friendly and offers the features you need.
For instance, CSTelecare’s telehealth platform is specifically designed for therapists. It’s easy to use and comes with features like live exercise demonstrations, real-time outcome tracking, and call recording with just a click. This is all available on a secure, encrypted, HIPAA-compliant system.
Get Your Patients Onboard
Once you’ve chosen your platform, you need to get your patients on board. This means letting them know that you offer telehealth physical therapy appointments and how they can schedule one.
You can promote your telehealth services on your website, in your clinic, or through social media. You can also send out emails or postcards to your patients to let them know about the new service you’re offering.
Ensure Quality Care
Despite some rocky beginnings during COVID, telehealth physical therapy has seen a lot of success for both patients and practitioners. In fact, with the proper resources, you can make it work even without in-person appointments.
It’s important to ensure quality care by providing your staff with the resources they need to conduct these virtual appointments, like high-speed internet and good lighting. You also need to advise your patients on how to use the technology and set expectations for the visit.
Telehealth Physical Therapy Is Easy With CSTelecare
Telehealth physical therapy has a lot of potential to benefit both patients and practitioners. If you’re considering adding it to your practice, you can provide quality care to your patients by using ClinicSource’s CSTelecare software.
CSTelecare is integrated with ClinicSource so you can use it directly from your EMR. You’ll have access to state-of-the-art features that include:
- Real-time messaging
- Screen sharing
- Call recording
- Live exercise demonstrations
- Outcomes tracking
- Data benchmarking
- Clinical studies
- Research capabilities
Your practice will gain a competitive edge, while providing patients with the high-quality care they deserve.
CSTelecare by ClinicSource is the perfect solution for your telehealth physical therapy needs. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you take your practice to the next level!
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