Physiotherapy Team offers virtual care allowing patients to recover from home

Patients now have a new virtual option that provides them with the same level of outpatient physiotherapy care while staying safe at home during the pandemic.

In June, Arnprior Regional Health (ARH) collaborated with other hospitals in the region to launch the Patient Portal that gives individuals easy access to medical records, lab results, and appointment history—as well as providing a secure platform for virtual appointments.

Virtual visits a good option for many physiotherapy patients

Sarah Martins, Physiotherapist, demonstrates virtual visit.

The ARH Physiotherapy Team recognized that offering virtual appointments would be a helpful opportunity for many of their patients.

“The Patient Portal gives our team a secure way to interact with our patients during COVID-19 and to help limit the amount of direct patient contact we have within the Hospital when possible,” said Amanda Cavanagh, Physiotherapist Assistant, ARH.

With the launch of virtual visits, the Outpatient Physiotherapy Team has not had to adapt patient appointments significantly and can deliver the same level of care as they do in person.

“We can still see our patient and understand their problem and main concerns,” said Sarah Martins, Physiotherapist, ARH. “We of course cannot do hands-on therapy for the patient but we feel that we can still do a quality re-assessment and deliver the treatment that is needed including education about their problem and showing them the proper positioning, posture and exercises they need for their recovery.”

As part of this rollout, the team will see each patient in person for a face-to-face initial appointment. Moving forward, the patient will have the option for the follow-up sessions to be facilitated virtually in the comfort of their home using a computer, tablet or smartphone.

“An added benefit of the virtual appointment is that we can see the patient in their home environment which can be important context,” said Lisa Kyte, Physiotherapist, ARH. “We can provide them with exercises and easily check in to see if they’ve been able to continue to do them on their own. This will be an option that will work well for everyone especially our post-surgical patients whose mobility may make travelling to the hospital an extra challenge.”

Platform expedited to support gradual restart of clinical services

The COVID-19 pandemic created a greater demand for virtual care to support physical distancing when it is possible. In response, the first phase of the Patient Portal project was expedited to help facilitate this need as ARH and other hospitals in the region gradually restart non-urgent clinical services.

The Patient Portal’s virtual visit feature is now being used at the discretion of the patient and their care team.

For more details about the Patient Portal and how to register, visit the web page or speak to the Patient Registration Team when you arrive at the Hospital.