What does a ‘virtual’ or ‘remote’ assessment look like?
As we all adapt and adjust to our new ‘normal’ in these unprecedented times, we at Emma James Physio continue to put the needs of our patients at the forefront of our practice by providing a service to enable you to continue on your patient journey whether you were already in treatment when lockdown commenced or if you have new pain or injury and you need advice. Perhaps you are now working from home for the foreseeable future and you’re starting to find your workstation set up isn’t at its best? Are you suffering from neck, back, or postural pain? We are STILL here to help!
What is a virtual assessment?
Telehealth services and virtual assessment via online media platforms such as Facetime, Skype, and/or Zoom video calls are services that have been rolled out nationally to facilitate working from home where possible. However, despite the increased use of these types of services, they are not necessarily new. Musculoskeletal services across the board have successfully made use of telephone triage services for several years, including the NHS and multiple insurance providers. The advantage of a virtual assessment at this time is that your physiotherapist can still carry out subjective assessment (questions about you and your injury) and a number of objective tests via video call whereby the patient can replicate specific movement patterns, describing their symptoms as they do. Therapists can then use this information to aid diagnosis and give the patient a detailed home exercise programme to facilitate their rehabilitation. We can also provide video links of the exercises to help with technique and suggest suitable household items that can help add some resistance to your programme if required.
How do we ensure safety and effectiveness?
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) ‘endorses a more rapid approach to implementation (of virtual assessment) to minimise risks of exposure to COVID-19 to patients, the public, and healthcare staff’. Remote consultations are covered by the CSP public liability indemnity (subject to policy terms and conditions). Focusing on the needs of the patients and using the normal subjective assessment line of questioning we can hypothesise a working diagnosis and further develop that with objective assessment via video call.
How can we ensure patients have access to the correct services?
Our comprehensive assessment always includes specific lines of questioning to establish whether physiotherapy is appropriate and/or whether onward referral is required, be that to the GP or onto other specialties such Orthopaedics.
Providing a high-quality service
We will always use a private, well-lit room and ask you to do the same. We will ask you to confirm your identity, name, and date of birth and take verbal consent on the day as well as maintain accurate notes and documentation as per the CSP standards. If you are continuing treatment, we will have your clinical record to hand to ensure continuity of care as per your treatment plan.
What do you need to do?
It is very simple, contact us either through our website, www.ejphysio.co.uk or email our Reception on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will guide you through the rest. We will talk you through the process and can use whichever media platform you are comfortable with and have a trial run if required to ensure no issues. In the event of any technical issues, we can call via telephone to try to iron out any problems.