Telehealth and telerehabilitation is the use of information or communication technologies to allow you and your therapist to continue via video technology to receive sessions at a distance when in person therapy is not possible. Currently, our physiotherapists, chiropractors and naturopathic doctors are offering telerehabilitation services.
Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions about Telerehabilitation in an allied healthcare facility.
1. When is Telehealth / Telerehabilitation appropriate?
There are a few circumstances when the use of Telerehabilitation may enhance your care. Telerehabilitation can be used in the following situations:
- Services are not available in your area
- In-person visits cannot occur due to the inability to travel the distance to see your therapist
- Unforeseen events (COVID 19 work closures).
2. When is Telerehabilitation not appropriate?
Telerehabilitation should not entirely replace in-person therapy. Telerehabilitation does provide an option for assessment, treatment and monitoring when in-person visits are not possible.
3. Will I get good, quality care?
Expect to receive the same safe, quality care that you would expect during an in-person visit. Research has shown Telerehabilitation to be an effective service. The only difference in service is the mode of delivery.
4. What are the risks of receiving care via Telerehabilitation?
The risks of receiving Telerehabilitation relate to concerns about privacy and your personal safety. We use an encrypted, secure and authenticated application to deliver our Telerehabilitation services. We will also request certain safety measures be in place to ensure the availability of help in the event of an emergency.
5. Do I have to pay for Telerehabilitation services?
Depends. We know some extended health plans (Great West Life, Sunlife, Manulife, Canada Life, RCMP) can be direct billed for the service. Pacific Blue Cross is covering follow up (subsequent) physiotherapy visits for the next three months. We will be closely monitoring all the extended health plans and updating this page as we gain new information. Unfortunately, other extended health plans do not have policies on Telerehabilitation services as of yet. This is quickly changing, but as of now members of other extended health plans will need to self submit. We also know that ICBC and WorksafeBC is covering the costs of Telerehabilitation in the short term.
6. If my therapist isn’t in the room then who will help me and what type of care will be provided?
Therapists providing Telehealth consultations may require assistance from another person. Acceptable assistance may include an appropriate family member or friend. The therapist is required to ensure your safety and that you agree to the involvement of assistance.
Examples of services that can be provided include, but are not limited to education, assessment, exercise, monitoring, instruction and self management techniques.
7. Does my therapist need to be registered to deliver Telerehabilitation services?
Yes! Our therapists need to be registered with the Regulatory College of their profession and in the province they deliver services (Example: College of Physiotherapy of B.C.). All our therapists are registered in the Province of B.C. with their regulatory body.
8. Do I need to be good with technology to receive Telehealth services?
No, the delivery of telehealth services is relatively easy. There will be struggles at the start, from us included, as we all adapt to the technology, but we guarantee that once you get going on this platform you will find it truly easy to use. Our staff has reserved extra time for all the telerehabilitation sessions to ensure you get the treatment you deserve. We are prepared to help you during the initial sessions to make you feel comfortable with the technology.
Time to take the plunge! Here are some great PRO TIPS to help you out:
- Telehealth is best experienced on a computer or laptop using Chrome or Firefox. iOS and Android devices also work for doxy.me
- Check your internet connection at fast.com. You will need a result of 15Mbps or higher. If you’re seeing a number measured in Kbps, that’s not good news. If your internet connection isn’t great, you will have the option to shut off the video and do an audio only session.
- Make sure you’re somewhere private and nobody behind you will be surprised to be visible on camera.
- Check your battery! Might be best to be plugged in.
- For your security and privacy, this system is not designed to record or store audio or video and all electronic audio and video communication will be encrypted in transit.
We will continue to adapt our services to ensure that your health needs our met in a safe and effective manner. Our current decision to remain closed is made based on recommendations from the World Health Organization, Ministry of Health, and our professional colleges and associations. We thank you for your support and look forward to ‘virtually’ seeing you soon.