While the coronavirus pandemic continues to be front and center in the news and in the thoughts of many people, other health issues have not gone away. People are still getting back and neck pain, overuse injuries and hurt while at work. Many of these people would benefit from seeing a physical therapist, but some of them are reluctant because of concerns over COVID-19. That's understandable, PT clinics are busy places, with lots of people coming and going, right? They used to be, but things are different now. Just like every other business and public place, PT clinics have made changes to allow them to continue to serve patients while keeping both patients and staff safe. Here are some common changes clinics have made to reduce the risk of COVID spreading among patients and staff.
Scheduling and patient flow
Clinics have reduced the total number of people they see each day to allow for social distancing in the clinic
Many clinics are using a staggered schedule to avoid people coming in at the same time
Many clinics have implemented a "virtual waiting room" having people wait in their car and notifying them when their clinician is ready via a phone call or text message
When possible, clinics may be using separate entry and exit points
Clinics may be screening patients and staff as they enter the building using questions, temperature checks, or other means
Clinics may have designated areas for each clinician and their patients to reduce contact between different groups of people
Equipment will likely be spaced out further than you're used to and there may be less of it to allow for more distancing between patients
Many clinics are leaning more heavily on telehealth when appropriate for patients to reduce the number of patients physically present in the clinic
Physical therapists are medical professionals who were trained to deal with infectious diseases and keep people safe long before COVID-19 existed. By making changes throughout their workflows and patient experiences, physical therapy practices have reduced the risk of spreading COVID among their staff and patient populations, while continuing to deliver needed services to the public. To reduce or eliminate going into the clinic, many practices are using telehealth either exclusively or in combination with in-person treatment. This is a time of uncertainty, but people are reacting with flexibility and creativity. Don't let concerns over COVID keep your clients in pain or from the treatment they need.
Here at GroupHab Physical Therapy and Wellness, have made many adjustments and changes to how we function and maintain our practice. We have started monitoring each client as they come in and checking for symptoms and temperatures as well as requiring clients to wear a mask. We have limited our caseload to having only three clients at any given time to ensure that we can keep everyone socially distant and in separate treatment areas as much as possible. And as always we are being very diligent in keeping our gym and equipment clean and sanitized. For our group wellness classes we have adapted by broadcasting each class live via Zoom so our members can continue to participate from the safety of their homes; as well as limiting class sizes to 6 members on site to maintain social distancing. We've also created an online video library on our website to allow our members to view classes from home on their own time.
We are happy to share some of the things we are doing here at GroupHab to keep each other and our clients safe. We hope this is helpful in sharing some new ideas for your practice as well! For more information about GroupHab Physical Therapy and Wellness and all that we have to offer please feel free to visit our website at www.hometherhabfit.com or www.grouphab.com. You can also reach out to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 864-525-2654.