The Benefits of Telehealth in a Physical Therapy Practice
Telehealth continues to gain headlines as providers, patients, and payers all look for more compelling and cost-efficient ways to deliver care. Truth be told, this increasingly well-known treatment choice is giving providers of all stripes the flexibility to cast a more extensive net and give services to patients seeking alternate ways to get to health services (e.g., the individuals who are homebound or who live in more rural, underserved areas). But, as with anything new, there are bound to be several growing pains.
Telehealth isn't a supplement or swap for common physical therapy care. It's a resource that offers extra options for providers to utilize. This allows healthcare to be more available to individuals and takes some weight off both the patient and provider. For instance, patients in a clinical or hospital setting could have their care given in their homes instead.
It is also incredible for post-discharge communication and checkups. Telehealth is an awesome choice for speedy screening, assessment, and the subjective bit of referrals. It additionally supports more collaborative care towards the patient-centered medical home on the grounds that telehealth allows for consultation between providers or during clinical education. Using telehealth for a more involved HEP process is one of the ideal ways to streamline patient recovery, and the technological advances allow a patient to generally have a "PT in their pocket" for any inquiries concerning their treatment.Finally, a telehealth program can allow a physical therapist to venture into the wellness market and preventative medicine. It's an effective method to offering these 'wellness visits.
The following are the benefits of Telehealth with regards to 'Meeting Demands for Patient-Centered Care'
Telehealth creates improved patient engagement.
As we probably are aware, achieving ideal patient outcomes depends to a great extent on patient engagement. Aside from saving profitable time and resources, telehealth allows physical therapists to "get creative with their practice." As one former private practice manager put it, "Seeing patients on a fee-for-service model makes a sense of hustle, in light of the fact that the grading scale is on efficiency, not on outcomes. The incentive is in the wrong place." But, when patients aren't forced to travel long distances—and instead have the convenience of receiving care from the comfort of their homes—it's a win-win for providers and patients alike. For providers, we're talking enormous cost containment—also real productivity gains, which may prompt increased patient volume—while patients get more quick treatments and diagnoses. Be that as it may, the buck doesn't stop there.
It can also promote the improvement of patient outcomes.
The already quoted Physical Therapist, who dropped his practice for working at a telerehab tech, likewise believes that patients can gain more autonomy and feel more secure about their care via telehealth. "Our insight and skill sets are important. However, because of time constraints, we give a mild exercise as opposed to taking the time to educate patients on why they're doing the prescribed movements and how it will at last lead to their successful rehabilitation. Through providing a tool to enable patients to do simple exercises at home...we can take the time to further that experience by empowering them with the information to understand how the exercise helps in their entire recovery. This kind of vigorous practice will definitely be what thrives in value-based payment model." In addition, physical therapists who can accomplish better patient outcomes via telehealth services will have the capacity to exhibit their clinical value on a greater scale, eventually helping them to secure higher payments and be viewed as high-class players in the entire healthcare industry.
Katie co-founded HENO based on her career as a physical therapist and practice owner of over 10 years. Her understanding of the pain points many practice owners face has equipped her to create practice management solutions that optimize the efficiency and profitability of physical, speech and occupational therapy clinics.
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