Written by Tom Bosna, Physiotherapist and Director of Pinnacle Health Group.
With the rapid advancement of technology over the last five years, online video consultations (often referred to as telehealth) have become an excellent way of reaching remote, at risk or time poor individuals who need to get their healthcare on the go!
At Pinnacle Health Group we have been offering video consultations for corporate clients for many years – using Skype and Zoom and more recently things have changed fast.
Due to the COVID-19 global crisis we have seen a huge uptake in video consultations for Physiotherapy in the last week. With clients wanting to stay physically active, pain free and mentally sharp – we have reviewed and updated our treatment protocols and staff training to optimise our service delivery.
With so many of our corporate clients working from home, we have reinvested in the most up to date technology available (PhysiApp – download and check it out) to ensure your video consultation experience is world-class and frictionless.
It’s just like a normal consultation
Just like a normal consultation, you can expect a discussion about your wellbeing goals, specific questions relating to your area of concern and discussion about the best way to treat your presenting concern or condition.
For example, a Physiotherapy consultation normally begins with questions about the injury or area of concern, the experienced Physiotherapist will know which questions to ask to ascertain a diagnosis, a prognosis and then treatment pathway that will most likely include rehabilitation.
Rehabilitation will include follow up with the client with a tailored exercise program with an app called PhysiApp. You will also be given evidence based self mobilising, stretching and self release technique advice – with the Physiotherapist ensuring correct technique before the session ends.
To optimise your experience and based on the last three weeks of video consults – here are our top steps you can take to maximise your first online video consultation with our experienced team.
1. Check your tech
The video consultation experience is one of excitement for both the Physiotherapist and client. To connect so seamlessly and in the comfort of your home is often reported as a real time saver for clients.
The only thing that can potentially add friction to your experience is dreaded technological issue.
The video consultation can be done via a PC, laptop, mobile or tablet -you choose your own adventure here – but we ask that you ensure a few things:
- The camera and sound is enabled on your device
- You connect to WiFi
- Your battery is charged
I know these points are obvious but we would hate for your appointment to be interrupted by a bad signal or a vintage device!
2. Space to move
We love to get you moving and grooving and our advice for the video consultation is simple: get yourself comfortable in your home.
A study, spare room, nook or lounge room is a perfect space for your consultation.
To begin the consultation you will be sitting in front of the device and talking with the Physiotherapists.
Once the session progresses into assessment, it is likely that you will be asked to move into standing or lying to do some movement tests and analysis!
3. Dress active
If you have a back or lower limb issue – we ask that you are comfortable enough in your dress, pants or shorts to bend your hips and knees without ruining your clothes. If you are unsure – always wear some leggings or shorts – this will save you time and make the assessment more accurate and effective. An example of a movement test would be the Physiotherapist watching you do a squat.
If you have a shoulder, upper body or neck issue – we will most likely need to look at your shoulder movement – past ninety degrees and over your head. Ideally wearing a t-shirt or some loose clothing will allow the Physiotherapist to see what is really going on. An example of a shoulder test would be asking you to do a push up against the wall.
Dress for activity.
4. Bring your tools
Most of our clients will have purchased some mobility or strength tools over the years.
Here is a list of some common pieces of equipment that we would love you to bring.
- Theraband (stretchy coloured bands – great for strength, stretch)
- Foam roller
- Swiss-ball (aka fit-ball)
- Kettle bells
All of these tools, small or large can be so beneficial when it comes to the treatment planning stage of your consultation.
When used correctly – the Physiotherapist can ensure you get the most value out of your initial purchase and speed up progress to your desired outcome – whether that be to run five kilometres pain free or to be able to lift up your children for a cuddle.
5. Write some questions
Sometimes when we visit health professionals we have so many questions before the appointment and then we walk out and forget to ask the important stuff! It happens all the time and we encourage you to ask us as many questions as you need. Some of our most dedicated clients actually write a list of questions on a piece of paper. We welcome this and accept follow up phone call or email questions.
Here are some great sample questions we encourage you to ask:
- How long do you expect this issue to go on for?
- What should I be doing to help this issue over the next 1-2 weeks?
- Do you recommend I see any other health professionals to help my issue?
- What do you think is the main cause of my issue?
Video consultations are easily accessible and perfect for time poor individuals who want to take control of their issues.
Ensuring you get the most value out of your experience and working collaboratively with your Physiotherapist is the best mindset going into your first video consultation.
Online video consultation – Physiotherapists in Melbourne and Sydney
Pinnacle Health Group provides a range of online video consultations including physiotherapy, podiatry, psychology, dietetics, and ergonomics. If you’re injured or need health advice, book an appointment from one of our CBD based health clinics or join a wellness class near you.