You’re probably hearing a lot about telehealth, or “video visits” as a way to receive treatment, but you’re not quite sure what it is and what it means to you as a patient. We want to answer the questions you may have in regards to telehealth for physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. You don’t have to suffer through the COVID-19 crisis in pain, Prairie Rehabilitation is here to help. If you have any questions other than the ones listed below, please call our main office at 605-334-5630.
We asked one of our physical therapists, Jeff Steinberger, for his perspective on working with patients via telehealth. Steinberger has worked primarily with low back and hip pain patients but has patients with other injuries scheduled for the coming weeks. Here’s what he had to say:
“As a physical therapist, I have found telehealth very convenient for my patients. With minimal moving of the camera to demonstrate and observe, it has been easy and very safe for those that we have chosen to use video visits. Video or virtual visits have been very handy and I expect will become much more common in the future due to the ability to complete from the home.”
What is telehealth?
Telehealth is the means to deliver therapy to people in need of services through secure technology—smartphone, tablet, or computer with a camera. Your therapist is responsible for developing a plan of care and for providing the delivery of that care. You receive a comprehensive visit with your therapist in the comfort of your home.
What do I need to participate?
Prairie Rehabilitation is offering telehealth to patients via a device—smartphone, or a tablet, or a computer with a camera. Our patient care coordinator schedules your appointment; you receive a secure link via email. Click the link, and you are ready to go.
How will I benefit from telehealth?
1. Convenience. There is no transportation time or costs. You can save money on gas, and the time it takes to drive to the clinic.
2. More convenience: there’s no need to take time off work. You can schedule your appointment during a break, over your lunchtime or before or after work. You can see your therapist from anywhere you feel you have enough privacy.
3. Even more convenience: eliminate child or eldercare issues. If you are caring for others or even serving as a teacher, you don’t have to find someone to fill in for you, which is even more challenging during social isolation.
4. Ergonomic evaluation: Let us help you get comfortable—from home work stations, sleeping positions, and other postural positions that may create pain.
5. Less exposure to illness – you won’t have to leave your home for therapy.
What if I just had surgery, or I’m getting ready for surgery; will this help me?
Physical therapists and occupational therapists are movement specialists, and movement affects improvement. Keeping your body and joints in motion is essential pre- or post-surgery.
We recognize that not all medical situations are right for telehealth, and you can trust our honest assessment of your case.
Does my insurance cover telehealth?
During the current public health emergency, most insurance companies are covering this service as if you were present in the clinic.
Is telehealth secure?
Absolutely. We are using the latest technology, which is HIPAA compliant. You are in the privacy of your own home, so you may access wherever you are most comfortable.