Want to Stay Home? Try Telehealth! 5 Benefits of Virtual PT

November 17, 2021

What a time to be alive: we have a whole world of information at our fingertips…and can even gain real-time access to our medical providers without ever leaving the house!

This level of modern-day convenience is thanks to telehealth, sometimes called telemedicine. Telehealth is a way to consult or receive care from a health care provider via internet access on a computer, smart phone, or tablet. You can utilize telehealth with a wide range of providers, including a primary care doctor, nurse, psychologist or mental health counsellor, and yes—even your physical therapist!

Keep reading for 5 reasons why my patients and I like telehealth and what sort of things we can get done during a virtual PT session.

5 Benefits of Telehealth

Telehealth became extremely popular during the pandemic, but what many patients and even some providers don’t realize is that this technology has been around for years now.

Personally, I think telehealth is here to stay—and I’m all for it. Here are a few of telehealth’s main benefits and why it might be right for you:

  1. It’s totally confidential. Healthcare providers offering telehealth use secure and HIPAA-compliant technology to maintain privacy at all times. Plus, you get the services you want right in your own home.
  2. It improves access to care. With telehealth, you can get the ongoing care you need even when getting out of the house is unfeasible or impossible—not only because of pandemic-related concerns, but because of things like inclement weather, road closures, lack of childcare, and lack of reliable transportation. Continuity of care is essential for improved outcomes, so the fact that telehealth can help you avoid missed appointments is a huge plus.
  3. It saves you money. While the research is still inconclusive about whether telehealth saves on direct healthcare costs, it definitely can help you keep more money in your own pocket. With telehealth, you’re sparing gas money (or public or private transportation fare), eliminating or reducing childcare fees, minimizing extra wear and tear on your car, avoiding appointment cancellation fees, and decreasing your reliance on PTO.
  4. It saves you time. No more waiting in waiting rooms (although at ITR Physical Therapy, our waiting times are minimal and our waiting room is a quite and relaxed relaxing and fun place to be!). No more commuting. No more scheduling tons of time off work. All you have to do to get ready for a virtual PT appointment is get dressed and log on. I’ve had patients tell me their virtual PT visits are a godsend because they don’t have to worry about fighting the Bethesda and McLean area traffic!
  5. It’s conducive to social distancing efforts. Many people, including many of my patients who are considered at-risk, are worried about going out during the pandemic. With telehealth, you can still get the care you want without having to put yourself in a situation that makes you feel unsafe. Telehealth even allows people who are sick or under quarantine to still receive care or attend follow-ups.

But Virtual PT—Really? What We Can Get Done in a Telehealth PT Visit

If the thought of virtual PT sounds nuts, you might be amazed at what we can get done during these online visits. I use online PT sessions with video and audio to work on things like:

  • Postural assessments
  • Balance, strengthening, and flexibility exercises
  • Home safety evaluations
  • Dietary suggestions
  • Caregiver training

Just be sure to chat with your insurance provider before trying out telehealth for yourself to make sure you know about your coverage options.

Interested in Virtual PT?

If you live near Bethesda MD or McLean VA and want to try out virtual PT for yourself, talk to your insurance provider and call ITR Physical Therapy at 301-770-7060 to learn more.

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