COVID19 has disrupted all of our lives. One of the biggest things we are seeing is the reduced movement from ourselves in general. Without the typical hustle and bustle of the day, we seem to just lounge around. If this isn’t you, then maybe you’re limited because no gym is open and you don’t know what to do in your home. We’ve put together a great routine to just keep you active and moving during these trying times. Workout along with Alyssa and the crew as the video plays!
We hope this finds you healthy and adapting to these challenging times as best as possible.
We are excited to provide you with an update on the operation of our clinics under these changing conditions and how that will affect your care, the care of loved ones, and the community.
We want to start by saying thank you to all of you who have trusted us to care for you, whether in the past or currently, via telehealth or in the clinic. That means so much to the entire OP Team.
Based on current trends of the pandemic in the state, Governor Baker has announced that as of May 18th stay at home orders are being lifted for the state of Massachusetts.
We are optimistic about these improvements, and we are beyond excited to see you all again to improve your function and health!
However, we are also proceeding very cautiously towards the expansion of operations based on our interpretations of best practices and the information provided to us by the experts advising local and state authorities.
We wanted to share the details of how we plan to resume full operations to best serve the community with our physical therapy care while also doing our part to help control the spread of COVID-19.
We know you trust us to care for you, and with that comes the responsibility to assure you that we are doing everything we can to keep you safe while addressing your critical needs to restore pain-free functioning.
Throughout this pandemic we have been operating on a very limited basis as an essential business, seeing only critical cases in the clinics and seeing the majority of our patients through telehealth. These critical care cases included patients who were post-operative, had pain levels greater than 7/10, had progressive neurological changes related to spine conditions, or were at a high risk of severe functional regression.
This has given us a great deal of confidence and practice in implementing the heightened standards of cleanliness and distancing while still providing care for those who needed it most.
As of May 18th, OP will now gradually resume seeing a wider range of patients based on the revised recommendations of the state and local health departments. This will occur under the conditions of heightened screening, cleanliness, and distancing according to best practices.
Just like successful rehabilitation involves both the therapists and the patient working together as a team to get the best outcome, so too will the re-opening process under these unique circumstances.
So you can feel confident and well informed in resuming your care with us in our clinics, we want to share with you what we are doing to assure the safest environment for your care:
- All staff will be wearing masks
- There will be increased treatment times to minimize overlapping patients on the schedule
- The privacy curtains will be pulled as an extra barrier between tables
- The layout of the clinic has been adjusted to ensure social distancing is possible
- We have reserved spaces in the clinic for “vulnerable populations”
- We have extremely aggressive cleaning protocols with all patient contact items cleaned after every use
- We are limiting the number of people allowed in the waiting room
- We are only allowing patients in clinic/waiting room to reduce total number of people
- We’ve created a new systematic check-in process to limit the amount of time you spend in the waiting room
- We are separating sanitized pens and used pens so if you need to use a pen, you can be confident it is clean
- There will be clear signage and communication to all our patients to ensure transparency and understanding of our new processes
- We are staggering therapist appointment start times to minimize the number of patients checking in at the same time
This is what we are asking of you:
- Please self-monitor your symptoms daily by taking your temperature in the morning and being on the lookout for fever, persistent cough, and shortness of breath
- Please wear a mask while on the premises.
- Please remain in your car until 5 minutes prior to your appointment time to reduce the number of people in the waiting room
- Please follow marks on floor for check-in to ensure proper social distancing
- Please sanitize your hands when you get to the check in window prior to doing anything else
- Please enter through the main door and exit through the back/side door to reduce crossing traffic
- Please answer 3 COVID19 screening questions verbally at each visit
We remain devoted to researching and applying the best practices to create a safe environment for you. For more frequently asked questions about COVID-19 adjustments, check our our FAQs page here
Because of this we know that with our combined efforts, we can return to serving you under these unique conditions.
Staying strong, healthy, and pain-free is one of the best ways to manage these difficult times. We are here and ready to help you get back to feeling great in the safest way possible.
We are looking to forward to seeing you soon. Please reach out with any questions or concerns!
Important Announcement Regarding Your Physical Therapy Care During the COVID-19 Crisis
For those of you unable to see us for your physical therapy care at our clinic because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have come up with an important solution to help you:
A pandemic will not deter us from helping you.
We believe that addressing your pain and restoring your function is too important to be put on the sidelines no matter what the circumstances. Physical therapists are known to be able to adapt and modify no matter what the challenge to help you restore your health and function. That spirit doesn’t go away just because you can’t get to the clinic. Accordingly, the circumstances demand that we adapt and modify how we can serve you.
We are now providing Telehealth Physical Therapy services remotely through your phone/computer, without you needing to leave your home.
This may seem difficult to imagine.
But our experience and the research has proven that this can be a very effective, valuable option for you. While this is a new offering for OP, I’ve been providing this service for patients and clients for years. So we have a tested, proven solution.
You might be wondering:
- What does Telehealth look like?
- What technology is required?
- How is it scheduled?
- What does it cost?
- Does it work?
- Who is it for?
- How do I get started?
We’ll address all of these questions here:
What does a telehealth session look like?
Telehealth has the similar components of a visit in the clinic, except it can happen with a call or a computer:
- Listening to your description of the problem (history of present condition),
- exercise prescription
- exercise instruction
- activity modification
- self or assisted stretching
- review of self care instruction.
- Most importantly, it offers the assurance that you are doing the right things and the accountability to make sure you are sticking to your program.
The best clinicians can diagnose and fix a problem mostly by asking the right questions and interpreting the information from the patients. A conversation, be it on the phone or through video conferencing, can make or break the effectiveness of treatment. Just like when you are in the clinic, we will ask you about your pain, limitations, self-care strategies, goals, success, challenges, and questions.
Right now, these unique circumstances present with unprecedented challenges. More sitting, less activity, different at home work spaces, etc. Solutions for how to address these can happen through a simple conversation.
From there, we will establish or review an exercise program. We prescribe what to do, and how much, how often, etc.
Then, we can provide feedback your technique if you have a computer with a webcam. Here’s a screenshot of a session I hosted last week:
What Technology is Required?
If you have a phone, that’s all you need. But we can do even more if you have a smart phone or computer:
- ZOOM Video conferencing: if you have a smart phone or computer, you have all you need to interact with us live. That allows us to see you exercising, and you can see our demonstrations, in real time.
At the time of your appointment, we send you an email, you click on the link, and soon you will see your PT. It’s that simple.
Take a look by clicking the link below to see what it looks like from a patient perspective when you receive and invite for a Zoom videoconference call. It’s so easy! https://somup.com/cYe3bYhSmC
- Phone: We can accomplish a lot with just a conversation!
- Email: We can do even more if you have email. For example, we can provide you with personalized videos demonstrating how to best do your specific exercises, narrated with our feedback. All you need to do is open you email, click a link, and you can hear us talking to do, demonstrating the exercises.
How is it Scheduled?
Just like any other appointment! Someone from the Orthopaedics Plus team will reach out to set up a time. At the time of your appointment, your PT will call you or if video conferencing, email a link to the call.
What Does it Cost?
Recent orders by Governor Baker have stipulated that insurance must cover telehealth services during the COVID-19. A lot of payers are waiving copays/coinsurances, but there are significant limitations and barriers that we are still trying to navigate given this is a new form of treatment for many insurers. We know for certain, all insurances are mandated to cover these visits, and we know the copay/coninsurance rules for all payers except for two insurance companies. We are in contact with them and will update the information as soon as we have it available.
Does it Work?
Absolutely! Research studies have concluded that Telehealth can produce excellent outcomes. My own experience working with people form all over the country has proven that telehealth can be very effective and valuable. While it can not replace in person visits, advice and individualized feedback from the most highly trained clinicians of Orthopaedics Plus can be more valuable than in-person treatment from less skilled clinicians.
Here’s some of the evidence:
- A UC Irvine School of Medicine study recently revealed that telehealth PT was effective for improving upper extremity motor control Cramer, et al. NeuroRehab & Neural Repair, 2017
- A systematic review showed there is a high level of agreement between an in-clinic PT diagnosis and a diagnosis obtained via telehealth physical therapy using a remote diagnosis and a movement screen (Mania, et al Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 2016.)
- A systematic review by researcher from the University of Keele, UK, revealed that the most effective interventions for low back pain are patient self-management, psychosocial interventions, and therapeutic exercise (interventions that are done during tele-Rehab) Babatunde et al, Effective treatment options for musculoskeletal pain in primary care: A systematic overview of current evidence. PLoS ONE 2017.
Who Is It For?
For those who are unable to receive treatment in our clinic but want to have access to the best Orthopaedic Physical Therapists. This include those who are in pain, are having difficulty with daily/work/leisure functions for any reason including injury, surgery, or deconditioning, and those interested in preventing injury, loss of function, or disease.
Given restrictions in access due to COVID-19, it is advised that current patients who are no longer able to come to the clinic seek out telehealth as soon as possible to prevent their condition from worsening. Accordingly, current patients will be given priority access to our telehealth services.
How Do I Get Started?
Give us a call today to set up an appointment in Beverly at 978-927-0907 or Bedford at 781-229-8011.
From there, we will take care of the rest.
A Special Note to Our Valued Patients
For over 30 years, Orthopaedics Plus has been clinician owned and operated, serving the Beverly, Bedford/Burlington, and surrounding communities with the best physical therapy care available.
We’ve been through major challenges. We’ve learned that our clinics and community needs to be resilient to survive. So too must our bodies.
Now, more than ever, we need to realize that our health and function is a top priority for managing our wellbeing to get through these times and be stronger for the future. We cannot let the spread of communicable diseases allow us to forget the importance of the prevention of noncommunicable diseases (heart disease, arthritis, pain, Falls, Stroke, Diabetes, obesity, depression) that your physical therapy routine is proven to fight.
Today, the situation demands that your treatment plan must adapt to your new surroundings. We are here to help you do that.
No tables, no cables, no weights, no machines? … no problem!
Our super power is the ability to adapt and modify, yet stay true to our principles. That is our nature Orthopaedics Plus Physical Therapists.
We’ve worked with patients with broken limbs, artificial joints, chronic pain, fused spines, stroke patients, spinal cord injuries, amputations, and people who cannot see or hear.
Our world is changing right now in so many ways. That is difficult for all of us, but changing your physical therapy to adapt to your home environment instead of a well-equipped clinic…That’s no problem for us. We’ve been doing that for years so we can help you here.
We have a proven, well developed plan in place to provide you with valuable, effective telehealth for you in response to not being able to see you in the clinic.
Challenging times demand that we step up and deliver. The entire Team is poised to over deliver valuable treatment for you.
Gratitude and Concerns
I want to acknowledge how proud I am that the entire Orthopaedics Plus Team has stepped up with genuine concern for serving you, our valued clients. They have answered the call to determine how to best keep you moving forward, instead of falling backward, during these challenging times.
There’s so much uncertainty now. But one thing I do know is that our team can help you be healthier, stronger, and in less pain even when you can’t be with us in the clinic
And I want to thank you, our patients, who are the lifeblood of our practice. Your support, belief in us, and encouragement means more to us than we can ever express.
Because of our team and folks like you that we serve, we have something special going on with Orthopaedics Plus. While we don’t have a treatment or vaccine for this virus, we are resistant and will survive hard times.
Let’s do this together!
While many have been enthusiastic about this transition to tele-rehab under these unique circumstances, others are hesitant to get on board. To those who are unsure, all I ask is that you trust us, and give this a try. I’m confident that you will see the value to help you control the one thing we know we can help you with: taking care of your health and function.
We’ve got this!
Yours in health,
Mike, Justin, Al, Ellen, Judy, Todd, Rob, Barb, Amy, Cherie, Colleen, Alyssa, Nate, Felicia, Deb, Linda, Monique, Scott, Kacey, Nick, Iggy, Alex, and Chris