Telehealth Defines a New Era in Physical Therapy


The quality of care that people receive is of great significance as the quantity of care. Public health crises like the reigning pandemic affect the quality and amount of health services available to patients. Covid-19 had caused authorities to impose restrictions of movements to individuals, consequently limiting access to care. The ability of care providers to interact with patients during in-person visits has been severely limited. 

Stakeholders in health care have had to adapt to the current health situation by adopting alternative ways to cater to their patients’ needs. The pandemic pushed for the uptake of telehealth services to increase the number of care services available to the population. However, the people who could access them had more limitations and the services available only served some needs.

Telehealth in Rehabilitative Care

Rehabilitation efforts are considered part of tertiary prevention approaches to healthcare since they aim to help individuals readjust to their environment. The readjustment is encouraged to help patients deal with the new health risks that the attainment of a particular condition poses. Since the onset of telemedicine practices, virtual visits have been integral to delivering mental health services. 

While the mental health of the population is essential, there have been gaps in the rehabilitative reach of the other aspects. Patients requiring rehabilitative physical therapy have been in the excluded groups but are bound to change too soon. Three rehabilitation centers, namely, Brooks Rehabilitation, Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital, and Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, will explore the effects of virtual visits in physical rehabilitation. 

Possible Benefits of Incorporating Telehealth in Physical Therapy

Rehabilitating people with physical health needs requires a caregiver who assists through offering support and guidance to the patient. Since facilities have become restricted to prevent the virus’s further spread, these patients’ recovery rate is threatened. Through virtual visits, therapists can deliver guidance by using dummies or collaboration with the other therapists to demonstrate how the patients will engage.

Continuity of care is essential in tracking the individual progress of the therapy patients. The replacement of in-person visits with virtual visits requires further technological advancement. With the advances, it is possible to develop parameters for tracking progress. The uptake of telehealth services in this sector means that care will not be interrupted, as has been the case since the pandemic. Often rehabilitative facilities have been limited to the capacities of the space in which they exist. The incorporation of virtual visits in service delivery will increase physical therapists’ reach since their clientele can access the services from other locations. 

Virtual visits have eliminated unnecessary use of the available resources, such as protective gear used during in-person visits for physical examination. People’s safety using health has been improved when virtual physical therapy sessions become part of service delivery, exposure to Covid-19, and other health issues that may arise. 

Impact on General Health 

Physical health affects other health aspects, such as emotional, mental, and spiritual health. Addressing this aspect of care addresses the different potential issues that could rise and thereby decrease the strain in health care. The quantity and quality of healthcare will increase to manage the care gaps. 

Health services providers are always striving to ensure that the quality of care is best with the available resources. Addressing the rehabilitative health issues serves to improve the population’s general health because the resources that would otherwise be utilized in physical health can be allocated to other areas. The financial burden of care may significantly reduce because the facilities are not stretched. 

Possible Challenges to Uptake 

Change often breeds resistance from the people within and without the field. Unlike other sectors, resistance to change has often resulted from the payment plans. The changes that occur demand that all stakeholders catch up with the new trends or risk losing more. The needs that telehealth can address are still limited, and employing some of the innovations will incur high costs. The financial burden is already high, calling on people to adopt something that adds to the medical bills.  

Future Prospects  | Physical Therapy

Researchers have begun to investigate telehealth’s impact in the sectors that have adopted the new trend, with the facilities’ proposed collaboration, data on the issues that arise. Surveys on the utilization will ensure that interventions are tweaked to cater to virtual physical therapy sessions’ problems. 

Initially, telehealth was frowned upon, and the uptake was slow, but the changes have benefited the health sector. While remaining hopeful that the pandemic’s scourge will soon end, healthcare efforts will need rehabilitation. Having strategies in place will reduce the resistance because telehealth will be incorporated in the health sector.




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