TELEHEALTH, VIDEO CALLS, ONLINE PHYSIO


The what, when, and why of online physiotherapy consultations.


WHAT?


Just like during an in-person appointment in the clinic, online physiotherapy involve a discussion, observation, assessment, and formulation of a treatment plan. The only change is that this is done using the webcam and speaker on your computer or smartphone.



During the appointment you can let me know all about yourself, what you are feeling, what you are having difficulty with, and the goals you have. You or your support person can position your laptop or smartphone, for observation of your posture and movement. You can also complete some self-tests. A management plan for your injury or problem will be discussed in the same way as we do in the clinic. I can provide education and advice. We can problem solve, develop strategies, and I can prescribe home exercises for you to manage an injury, or make lasting lifestyle changes. If needed, I can refer you to other health professionals.


Privacy

The online consultation itself will not be recorded or stored. The consultation notes are documented in the same way as for in-person appointments.


Exercises

Any exercises you are advised to do will be emailed to you, with video, sound, and written instructions.


Equipment

You can order anything you need for your treatment such as; tape, massage wax and exercise equipment through Spring Physio & Well-Being.


Insurance Provider Contribution

In New Zealand, ACC and Southern Cross Health Society contribute to online consultation fees in a similar way as in-person physiotherapy appointments. You may have heard the term 'telehealth'. This term describes using technology, such as; your phone, email, video calling and exercise software, to deliver a health service.



WHEN?


Online physiotherapy is appropriate any time you need to see a physio.


Through an online consultation, physiotherapists can provide...


  • Education and advice

  • Postural and movement assessment

  • Self treatment strategies

  • Exercise prescription

  • Pre and post-operative rehabilitation programmes

  • Injury prevention strategies

  • Referral on to other health services



WHY?


Online consultations are a great option for MANY reasons...


  • You can access physiotherapy even if you are sick, or have sick kids at home.

  • If you don’t have transport, you can still have a physiotherapy consultation.

  • If the weather is terrible and you don’t want to go out, you can still get help.

  • You will not need to drive anywhere, or find a park.

  • You will have access to appropriate evidence-based information and care.

  • You can be referred to other health services if needed.

  • You will save time and avoid sitting in a waiting room.

  • No matter what geographical area of New Zealand you are in, you can connect with the health professionals you need.


There are times when it is not appropriate to have an online consultation...


  1. If you have an emergency situation - CALL 111

  2. If you need urgent help, for example for a traumatic injury or suspected broken bone - you should be seen at an accident and emergency clinic or at the emergency department of the hospital.

  3. If you are unable to use the technology needed for the appointment to be effective - please phone me to discuss your options.



Tips for a good online physiotherapy consultation


  1. Wear comfortable clothes that you can move in.

  2. Wear something which allows your injury site to be seen, so I can check for things like swelling, bruising and muscle bulk.

  3. Close the curtain/blinds behind you to improve screen clarity.

  4. Have a chair and floor space available for tests to be done in standing, sitting, and lying.



Let's embrace change and see where it takes us!


There are health, economic, and environmental benefits of online consultations. Try an online physiotherapy consultation for yourself, and see how it fits into your lifestyle.





Written by Ilana Hadfield