How much can actually be done with this service?
You will have continued contact with and support from your Physiotherapist during your rehab journey. You will understand what’s wrong, how to fix it, and what to expect. This is reassuring!
Your Physiotherapist can diagnose your injury. Over video, we can do many of the examination tests we would normally do, sometimes with assistance from the patient themselves. Research shows that the diagnostic accuracy of telerehab assessments is NOT inferior to face-to-face assessments.
Your Physiotherapist can provide treatment in the ways we usually do: education and self management tips for your condition, exercises and demonstrations, and progressions. Your physio will follow up with emailed instructions and images for the exercises, and as usual, your physio will continue to communicate your treatment plan to any referring physicians. Research has again shown that telerehab has produced physical and functional results that were comparable to (and better in some cases!) than those achieved through traditional face-to-face appointments. Research also indicates a high level of satisfaction reported by patients for the telerehab experience.
How can I trust this new style of treatment?
Patients can expect the same safe, quality care that you would get during an in-person visit at Active Living Physiotherapy. Physiotherapists are required to meet the same Standards of Practice established by the College of PT’s of BC. Appointments are completely confidential, not recorded, and charted normally. We use a secure, encrypted video platform. Visits are private- your Physiotherapist will be in their home office, and you can choose your choice of location. Is it safe? Right now it’s safer than coming into the clinic! And rest assured, we have an emergency plan in place should something serious happen during your appointment. If you’re not still not sure, we have an example video of an appointment on our website.
So, what’s the downside?
The primary downside is missing out on the hands-on portion of a Physiotherapy treatment - massage, manual therapy, needling, etc. But, we can adapt! We can teach you how to perform at-home treatment techniques with a foam roller, trigger point ball, family member assisted, or even common household items like a towel, belt, milk jugs or soup cans.
Approximately 50-70% of a Physiotherapy treatment consists of appropriate exercise prescription and patient education, which is easily done over phone and video calls.
What about the COST?
The good news is … telerehab is currently covered by some extended health companies. And both our provincial and national Physiotherapy associations are currently lobbying hard for other insurers to cover telerehab. We expect coverage to increase in the coming weeks, so it’s best to call the clinic to find out which companies are currently covering telerehab.
Active Living Physio has also created a “menu” of telerehab services to suit everyone’s wallet. We have everything from 10 min phone calls to 1 hour video appointments. For the highest level of service, we recommend a video call, but a phone call is better than nothing! During this time of financial insecurity,if you feel you need Physiotherapy but cannot afford the fee, please contact the clinic directly. Finally, you can pay easily online with no need to touch cash or point of sale terminals!
**UPDATE APRIL 1st - WE HAVE CONFIRMED extended health coverage for Telerehab physio with: Canada Life (formerly Great West Life), Green Shield Canada, Sunlife, Manulife and Pacific Blue Cross (for follow up appointments only). ICBC is also currently covering their patients until May 1st with the possibility for extension.**
What do I need?
For phone calls (the simplest appointment), just a phone!
For video calls- an internet connection, an email address, a computer/laptop/tablet or mobile phone. Most computers, laptops, and tablets purchased in the last 5-10 years will work, as long as they have a camera and a microphone. If you are having audio feedback, a set of headphones will likely solve this. you'll also need space to sit, stand and lie down (a mat or a bed) and possibly a short area to demonstrate walking (for lower body injuries). These are all things most people have! Don’t worry, you’ll get simple but detailed instructions when you book your appointment.
Telerehab in Physiotherapy
“Tele”-what? What is “Telerehab” or virtual care?
Telerehab is using a phone, computer, or tablet and the internet to deliver Physiotherapy from a remote distance. This type of virtual care has been used for the last 5-10 years across many health professions and in many countries.
How can I benefit from seeing a Physiotherapist via virtual care?
Virtual care is an alternative way of delivering Physiotherapy care when face-to-face appointments aren’t possible such as periods of social isolation. It provides continued access to physiotherapy care for everyone, and especially those who may need it most: our front line workers who need to be healthy and functional, those whose elective surgeries have been cancelled yet still need care, those with traumatic injuries, and anyone in acute pain. Also, for those with limited mobility it will be easier to have a Physiotherapy appointment in the comfort of your home instead of having to arrange transportation. Your Physiotherapist will still have access to any medical imaging reports (X-Rays, MRI’s, etc.) and your electronic Physiotherapy record/chart online. There is also no waitlist at this time for telerehab and good availability of appointments. We are also offering 30 minute Ergonomic Assessments via video for anyone working from home and needing adjustments to their home office space.
Did you know physiotherapists can help with creating an ideal workstation set up? This can help prevent repetitive strain injuries or other aches and pains that can occur with prolonged time working at desk.
Many of us have had to move our office space into our homes. During a telerehab video appointment, a physiotherapist can see and optimize your home office set up often with only a few adjustments. A physiotherapist can also give you some easy exercises to squeeze into your day to help counteract fatigued muscles from sitting at a desk. $75 for 30 minutes.
So how do I book an appointment?
You can book online at www.activelivingphysio.com or call the clinic 778.420.0111, just like booking a regular appointment.
To view a sample video of a telerehab appointment click on the screenshot below.