DES MOINES, Iowa — COVID-19 is changing the way essential businesses operate, with many doctors and medical related offices now offering telehealth options.
As an extra measure of protection and comfort, many physical therapy clinics like Athletico are offering telehealth options for all of their patients.
“We’re doing this with our entire population, so we’ve had to download Zoom or Google Duo or some sort of video chat on some people’s tablets or cell phones that aren’t as technologically savvy. But other than that, it’s been a great experience. Our patients have loved it. We’re still providing great care. You get one-on-one service with a therapist, so it’s really gone over well,” said Athletico physical therapist Joelle Gallick.
Athletico is using Zoom, FaceTime, and other video chat platforms to ensure patients can have a remote appointment. Telehealth allows patients to continue one-on-one care with their providers by performing exercises at home. Gallick says these appointments will also include a house assessment to figure out what’s available for a patient to use at home.
“Some of the common things that I’ve been telling my patients to use are stairs, chairs, couches, even just like a hardwood or linoleum floor. If you have stairs. Pretty much any exercise equipment that you have around your house, we can adapt to your therapy sessions,” said Gallick.
Physical therapy, according to Gallick, also helps patients avoid accessible pain and injury that otherwise would require a visit to a doctor’s office or the ER.
“We’ve definitely kind of taken our role in this COVID-19 situation as essential providers and that it is our goal to keep patients out of doctors offices, out of the ERs, and staying healthy by keeping them out of those places because of pain or things like that. We allow those providers to give more care to those that may be coming in with COVID-19, or some word kind of serious deficit,” said Gallick.
Athletico is still offering free, first time assessments that can also be scheduled as a virtual appointment.