If you are running a physical therapy clinic right now, you’re probably feeling a lot of pressure. It’s your responsibility to protect the wellbeing of your patients, employees, and yourself—not to mention potentially pivot your entire business model to adapt to the COVID-19 crisis.
It is a confusing time in the world, and no industry has been spared from the devastating effects of this pandemic. With close contact being off-limits right now, many clinics are struggling to stay afloat. Others are doing their best to adapt to the situation and find alternative ways to provide care for patients.
The American Physical Therapy Association recently made the following statement:
“Patient care has always been specific to the individual, with the physical therapist assessing a person's needs relative to their goals. Thus, physical therapists have a responsibility to review CDC guidance, to understand who is at highest risk and how to best reduce exposure, and to use their professional judgment in the best interests of their patients and clients and their local communities — including rescheduling nonurgent care if that is the best approach, or making other adjustments when the risk of exposure to COVID-19 outweighs the benefits of immediate treatment.”
Delivering Essential Treatment: On-Demand Physical Therapy
Those of us passionate about physical therapy know that the care we provide is essential. Many people are dealing with pain every day of their lives. While some appointments can be postponed in an effort to prevent the spread of this virus, there are others that simply cannot.
Eventually, life will go back to a new kind of normal. In the interim, physical therapists are looking for ways to deliver care safely and effectively. On-demand physical therapy gives patients access to care when and where they need it. It also empowers physical therapists to continue delivering care, despite distance and disruption.
Luna, for example, is now serving clients in the following ways:
For patients whose needs cannot be met via televisit, at-home appointments are available. With one-on-one on-demand physical therapy, patients can receive quality care in the safety of their own home. Luna therapists are available for appointments across Arizona, California, Illinois, Michigan, and Washington State.
While many physical therapists report wanting to jump through the screen to serve patients, televisits are one way we’re continuing to deliver care during this crisis. There are many legal implications to consider when offering telehealth services, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on any state-level changes.
To empower patients to stay on track with treatment and continue care despite these circumstances, Luna offers follow-up care through the Luna® app. If you’ve put off optimizing your tech stack prior to the pandemic, you’re probably struggling to adapt to this major change. Now is the time to consider your tech infrastructure and determine whether or not it is empowering your patients to stay informed and committed to treatment.
The truth is, there is no go-to playbook for navigating this crisis. Like everyone else, physical therapists must use their best judgment to achieve optimal health for everyone. It is our responsibility to determine whether in-person treatment is essential, how to keep all parties protected.
This crisis will serve as a catalyst for innovation and big thinking in our industry. If here’s one group of individuals who can approach this pandemic with empathy, tenderness, and flexibility, it’s physical therapists. You can do hard things. Please let us know if we can help.
How are you keeping your practice afloat during this time? Have you shifted to on-demand physical therapy services to stay in business? We’d love to hear from you.