Under the current circumstances and impact of the coronavirus, we at mTrigger want to emphasize the role of telehealth and telemedicine in reducing interaction and promoting social distancing. The use of communications software to provide remote assessments for patients seeking care – particularly those patients in high risk categories – is critical under such conditions. Many clinics are reducing their hours in order to keep staff and patients safe, and while much physical therapy is not life or death, continuity of care doesn’t need to entirely fall victim to COVID-19.
Many services offer online patient portals for communications, check-ins, and outcome tracking without patients having to leave their house and enter the public space of a clinic. Home exercise program (HEP) platforms like WebExercises and remote monitoring tools are a fantastic way to keep your patients accountable and understand their progress without in-person visits. Many clinics that use mTrigger send units home with their patients so that they can record their sessions and play therapeutic games on their own mobile devices in the comfort of their own homes. mTrigger is in the early stages of partnership with BlueJay Telehealth on the development of a cloud-based platform that would incorporate remote monitoring tools like mTrigger into a full-scale rehabilitation program. More information on that to come!
In the meantime, though, we have to fight and adapt on a day-to-day basis. Below are some resources focused on how the industry is dealing with these challenges:
- APTA: Telehealth in Physical Therapy in Light of COVID-19 – reviews payer policy changes, best practice tips, and links to additional resources
- General healthcare telemedicine in relation to the coronavirus outbreak
- Info on procedure and coding rule expansions
- An overview of telehealth in the private practice physical therapy landscape
We hope everyone stays safe and healthy during this time. Find new ways to connect with your patients, your communities, and your loved ones, and we will end up learning a great deal from these challenges together.