Physical Therapy Business

Pros and Cons of Offering Telehealth For Your Clinic

Telemedicine is a way for health care providers to meet remotely with their patients through a video or phone call. Though the practice has been around for years, it’s become very popular during the covid-19 pandemic and has allowed many clinics to remain in business while social distancing measures were in place.

The combination of technological improvements and a global pandemic have increased the patient’s telemedicine acceptance, with more and more people becoming comfortable with the idea of using it as a means of receiving treatment and, if you haven’t begun implementing it already, there’s never been a better time to start offering it to your patients.

Why You Should Be Using Telehealth at Your Physical Therapy Clinic

Offering telehealth to your patients is a good way to make sure you not only are able to connect with them as often as they need, but also to ensure you don’t lose any patients because of circumstances like not being able to attend in-person, illness, or location.

Telehealth has already become a mainstay in the healthcare industry, if you wait much longer to implement this you risk falling behind and seeing a dramatic dip in patient retention. More and more major hospitals and insurance providers are including telehealth coverage for most customers and as more patients become comfortable receiving healthcare this way, they will begin to expect it as another line of service. It’s best to be prepared and start adapting to this new technology now.

Benefits of Telehealth Physical Therapy

Convenience—Give patients better access to physical therapy sessions, consultations, and advice, allowing them to attend sessions from home until they’re comfortable attending in person. In addition, patients who have long drives to their appointments will be able to leverage telehealth to maintain their care plan, removing the drive time from their commitment will allow them to prioritize their health making care even more convenient for their busy schedules. 

Reach More Patients—The ability to connect from anywhere means you can find patients outside your usual local reach. Imagine being sought after for the care you offer and the convenience that you provide to your patients – with telehealth you can see patients from outside your radius, especially demographics that tend to travel frequently or seasonally. 

Easier Follow-Ups—Using telehealth, you can quickly and easily perform follow-up check-ins with patients to monitor their progression and status. Close out your previous appointment by letting the patient know what they can look forward to tackling in their next appointment, motivate them to tune back in with you and continue their plan of care in a manner that is easy and convenient for them.

Reduce Appointment Cancellations — Patients enrolling in physical therapy through telehealth are more likely to stick to their appointments, reducing cancellations and any costs associated with them. Telehealth can make appointment reminders easy and seamless – using SMS and Email to confirm appointments and provide quick links to log in to telehealth sessions.  It’s no wonder so many patients have grown to accept the ease of telehealth appointments!

Potential Drawbacks of Telehealth for Physical Therapy

Though telehealth has opened many doors for physical therapy clinics across the country, there are still a few downsides that you should be wary of, such as: 

Less Physical Contact—As some treatments need the patient to physically visit the clinic,  which is not possible with telemedicine, some things just won’t be possible and will require a physical, in-person appointment. The great news is that a plan of care doesn’t have to be all or nothing, less in-clinic appointments means that they can be conveniently scheduled to best meet the patient’s needs. Deciding to do a 70/30 split between telehealth and in-clinic care is a reasonable expectation to set with your patient if they desire more telehealth appointments.

Assessment Limitations—As a physical therapist, you can only do much if you are not physically with the patient. With telemedicine, you can only assess what you can see on your screen or what your patient tells you without access to testing or on-site equipment. Consider approaching your plan of care with an initial in-office assessment, and an in-office discharge appointment. 

Whether you’re hoping to open your own practice, are looking to franchise your current one, or are interested in investing, learn more about us and what makes the FYZICAL difference. For more information, contact us today to speak with a member of our team about your options.

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