Telehealth improves care during the pandemic, and after

This physiotherapist’s online appointments improve access and encourage client engagement

Natasha Wilch at Symphony Rehabilitation has been providing online physiotherapy appointments since 2017, and offered seamless service through the COVID-19 pandemic.

For physiotherapist Natasha Wilch, telehealth isn’t a Band-Aid solution to a temporary problem, it’s an essential tool with unique strengths.

“We’ve been offering telehealth since 2017, but many of my local clients hadn’t given it a try before COVID-19 hit. Our clinic is opening back up for in-person treatments now, but some clients loved it so much they want to continue online,” she says.

Wilch founded Symphony Rehabilitation in 2015 as a mobile service that improved access to physical therapy around Nanaimo, and added online appointments to expand her service. The clinic now offers treatment across BC, bringing her award-winning business to those in need.

Four reasons to try telehealth

  • Actively engage in your rehabilitation: “When some of my clients tried telehealth for the first time they were surprised at how much they had to work!” Wilch says. Online appointments are more than just a conversation; patients used to receiving hands-on treatment from a physiotherapist become active participants in their recovery online. “If your therapist was used to applying heat to your injury, for example, they might combine breath work with movement to help you reach those spots.”
  • Improved access: For those living in remote communities, regular care is nearly impossible without telehealth. “In some of these communities a physiotherapist flies in every six months, and an acute injury can become chronic if untreated during that time,” Wilch says. Even when patients are able to drive to a clinic, the travel can sometimes negate their treatment — a concussion or back injury could be aggravated more by the travel than it is soothed by the physiotherapy. “Telehealth lets us improve the quality of care we can give our clients, and serve those communities.”
  • Use new skillsets: In addition to treating patients, Wilch trains other physiotherapists to take their practice online. “The big change is that most therapists are used to doing things to clients, so we teach them how to slow down and communicate clearly with demonstrations and instructions,” Wilch says. If you try online treatments, you’ll get to interact with your physiotherapist’s other skillsets.
  • Continuous care: Symphony Rehabilitation is now open to in-person treatments, and many patients are opting for a hybrid model of care. “It really enhances the client’s journey. You can come back to the clinic for some appointments, or tune in from the beach,” Wilch says. Not even a global pandemic will disrupt your rehabilitation.

Visit Symphony Rehab at 201-1450 Waddington Rd. in Nanaimo, call 250-741-0141 or email info@symphony-rehab.com. For more information explore symphony-rehab.com, and book your first telehealth appointment today!

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