provided to Santiva Chronicle
Island Therapy Center Wwner Rachel Tritaik was faced with a tough decision. Despite thorough sanitizing between patients, altering procedures to minimize surface touches, and following CDC guidelines, she was concerned about social distancing between patients and therapists, and quantities of PPE (personal protective equipment) supplies.
“We initially checked temperatures, and restricted entry to the clinic for anyone with a fever, cough or recent travel history,” Tritaik reported. “However, as cases began to increase in Lee County, I could not put patients or staff at further risk.”
Since most patients attending Island Therapy Center were in a high-risk category for COVID-19 complications, Tritaik temporarily suspended hands-on services at the clinic on Periwinkle Way and instituted a safer alternative.
Telehealth services were incorporated last week by the clinic’s physical therapists in order to continue providing needed health services and reduce the detrimental effects of social isolation. The technology, now utilized by primary care providers to reduce infection risk, can be accessed by anyone with a smartphone, tablet or laptop.
The telehealth video-call platform used by Island Therapy Center is fully encrypted and HIPAA-compliant. Therapists can also send patients a customized video home program following their session. Modified Pilates and medical fitness sessions provided by the clinic’s skilled personal trainer are also available via video-call.
“We do not want our patients to suffer pain or lose strength while at home,” Tritaik affirms. “We can continue treating dizziness, post-surgical, orthopedic and neurological cases using our telehealth platform, while following social-distancing, in order to keep our patients healthy.”
Urgent cases requiring hands-on care may still be scheduled on a case-by-case basis, as the clinic still has limited personal protective equipment supplies. For more information about physical therapy and fitness telehealth sessions, call 239-395-5858 or visit www.islandtherapycenter.com.