Managed Physical Medicine

No Lost Time Thanks to Telerehab

Most patients who experience telerehab appreciate its convenience. Not having to fight traffic to drive to a clinic is a real plus for anyone, but telerehab makes a huge difference for people who travel for a living.

So we asked Loise, a traveling Nurse Practitioner and one of our patients if she would be willing to share how the benefits of telerehabilitation have positively impacted her busy life. Here’s how MedRisk’s telerehab program helped throughout her recovery.

LOISE’S STORY

Loise spends a lot of time driving around Florida. As a traveling Nurse Practitioner, she conducts patient assessments in people’s homes for a large group health insurance company. A typical day will take her 250 miles or more from home, and she usually spends nights in hotels before heading off to her next appointment.

One day as she pulled into a patient’s driveway, she noticed a very large dog in the yard. She called the owner to ask if it was safe to get out of the car. He assured her that the dog was chained up and that he would come outside to help her.

Just as she was getting ready to walk up the steps to the house, out of the corner of her eye, she saw the big dog running toward her at full speed, dragging the chain —and its post— behind him. He had pulled the post right out of the ground. Frightened because she didn’t know the animal, she tried to get behind the owner and twisted her knee. After reporting the injury to her employer and its third-party administrator, she visited a medical clinic where she was diagnosed with a sprained knee and prescribed six physical therapy sessions.

Loise went to the first session at a physical therapy clinic because she happened to be working from home the day of the appointment. “But I knew this wasn’t going to work because I was traveling and the injury didn’t incapacitate me,” she said. When she explained this to her employer, the company suggested telerehab. It ended up being perfect for her situation.

“I wanted to keep working, and telerehab was far more convenient because there were days that I wouldn’t be going home at all; I’m in a different county every week,” Loise explained.

MedRisk set up the telerehab appointment with Jill Carnathan, PT, DPT, a member of its onstaff physical therapy team who has extensive training in telerehab. MedRisk also sent her three tools to use for the therapy—an inflatable pillow, a strap and a roller—jumping through hoops to arrange delivery around Loise’s intense travel schedule. “We had to figure out which hotel to ship the tools based on the expected delivery date,” she said.

“It’s very convenient and you can set up the time. We did it at 7 a.m. before I jumped in the car, At a clinic where there is limited space, you have to make the appointment when they have the availability.”

One thing Loise noticed right away and appreciated was the dedicated, one-on-one time with her physical therapist. Jill was present for the whole session, describing exercises, then watching Loise do them, and approving how she was doing each one. Because they were both in the medical field, they could discuss the mechanics and benefits of the exercises clinician-to-clinician. “We talked about the ligaments and musculature—all that,” she said.

In addition, Loise received instructions for the exercises after every session. “What was really nice is you have the static instructions, but you also have a video that shows you exactly how to do the exercise,” Loise noted. “The videos are informative and explicit, showing you what position to be in and exactly how to do the exercise. If I had gone to a clinic, I’d have to wait until the next appointment to ask questions, but the videos provide an immediate reference.”

She particularly liked the fact that telerehab was portable, accommodated her schedule and she did not have to miss work. “It’s very convenient and you can set up the time. We did it at 7 a.m. before I jumped in the car,” she said. “At a clinic where there is limited space, you have to make the appointment when they have the availability.”

Loise, a Nurse Practitioner with a master’s degree, says that telerehab can be as effective as in-clinic physical therapy and does work. She completed her six PT visits, five via telerehab, and continues the exercises and referring to the videos. “I have a lot of exercises, so I switch them up, choosing a few to do every day,” she said. “I’m determined to wear heels again without pain; I’ve been in flats too long!”

Loise’s experience shows how telerehabilitation can help employees avoid losing time from work– especially those who travel extensively for their professions. For more information about MedRisk’s telerehab program, visit here.

Download the success story as a pdf.