Tips For Using Telehealth In Physical Therapy Clinics
Many physical therapy clinics are trying to put telehealth into place and make it operational. It’s encouraging to hear that many clinics succeed in providing patients with ongoing treatment during the COVID-19 outbreak. It is possible to swiftly implement telehealth at your clinic by utilising your existing procedures and goals, but it would be a mistake to think that everything is the same.
The goal of these suggestions is not to rewrite your physical therapy clinic’s whole playbook but rather to provide advice on topics that may not be top of mind. From numerous points of view, this is an intense test time for telehealth. You must ensure that you have a suitable protocol to deliver excellent service and ensure that the path is simple to bill these visits to insurance or the patient.
- Consider A Procedure
Every physical therapy clinic has its own set of procedures. These techniques have been thoroughly documented and adjusted throughout the years for some practices. Others have developed systems over time as a result of habit or circumstance. Practices that are just getting started may still be figuring things out. Check-in, check-out, scheduling, documenting, and collecting are all part of the process. In any event, when it comes to telehealth, it’s critical to consider patient flow.
- If the patient is new to the clinic, how will they register?
- What will the patient’s visit schedule look like? How will you capture them beginning the visit if they are a Medicare patient?
- How will you inform the patient about how their telehealth appointment will be billed and any cost-sharing arrangements?
- Who will do various jobs in your practice? Is it the same as before, or does something need to change?
- Do you make an effort to contact patients who haven’t seen you in a while? How hard would you try to get a telehealth appointment?
- Have An Agenda
To have the most accessible experience and the best outcomes with telehealth, you may need to add specific logistics to each visit:
- Consider doing a virtual check-in at the start of the call. Do you have the patient’s complete demographic information?
- In the event that you will collect payment for the visit on cash-premise or an insurance copay/deductible, make a point to work that into the registration portion of the visit.
- At the start of the session, ask the patient to go over a checklist with any required equipment. If they don’t have what you’ve asked for, be sure you have a backup plan. Hopefully, you thought of everything the patient would require and communicated it to them effectively.
- Have a “check-out” process at the end of each appointment to get rapid feedback from the patient about the visit. Consider scheduling a follow-up visit on the call or giving the patient directions on how to do so.
- Collaborate With Your Colleagues
As a clinic owner, it’s critical to regularly check in with your staff PTs to see what’s working and what isn’t. It will also allow you to hear from staff about the difficulties they have encountered. Working together to iron out kinks and provide the best possible service to your patients is essential. You may also discover that patients are providing valuable input, which must be adequately communicated. Finally, it’s critical to retain your physical therapy practice and reputation, which you’ve worked hard to create over the years.
A weekly (virtual) roundup meeting is a great approach to keep everyone connected and in good spirits.
- Technical Issues And Interruptions
Of course, we think technology is fantastic, but no technology is without problems. For example, there may be audio or visual glitches and people who cannot understand how telehealth visit technology works.
The trend to provide telehealth services is well underway, and with some foresight and planning, you can ensure the most significant level of service while avoiding any problems.