Virtual Care

What is telehealth, telerehabilitation and/or virtual care?

Telerehabilitation is a subdiscipline of telehealth and involves any rehabilitation delivered using telehealth technologies such as videoconferencing, sensors, chat / text, educational portals and more. The most recognizable form of telerehabilitation is the reproduction of the one on one physiotherapy via videoconferencing, most commonly known now as “Virutal Care”.

What types of situations should physiotherapists use virtual care for?

With current technology and techniques, virtual care is most useful in situations where exercise, education, self-management instruction, and monitoring are the primary methods used to accomplish the therapeutic goals. With creativity, these forms of therapy are fairly easy to adapt to the virtual environment for many different conditions including postpartum rehabilitation, acute or persistent back pain, sports injuries, vestibular rehabilitation etc.

Virtual care for orthopaedic surgical recovery from total hip and knee replacements has been shown to achieve very similar results compared to in person physiotherapy visits. (1,2)

A quick chat with one of our Telehealth practitioners will quickly determine if this form of rehabilitation is appropriate for you.

Am I suitable for Telerehabilitation?

Watch a short Telehealth (virtual physio) session above to experience all that we can do by this medium. Actually, we can do much much more!

If you are a new client and do not have an account on our booking system JANE, then please email us at info@dianeleephysio.com to be connected to a Telehealth practitioner at Diane Lee & Associates or call the office Monday – Friday 9am-3pm 603 538 8338.

If you are a returning client, login to your JANE account at https://dianeleeassociates.janeapp.com/ to see the practitioners who are doing Telehealth sessions.   If you have forgotten your username and password you can reset it on this page. Or simply click on your practitioner below to be taken to their online booking page.

If your practitioner is NOT available through our online booking site, this means that they are managing their caseloads manually to ensure Telehealth is appropriate for you.  Email them directly through our team page here https://dianeleephysio.com/about/our-team/ to book a mutually suitable time. Alternately, they may recommend a Telehealth session with one of their colleagues at the clinic.

Success Stories

“I made a telehealth appointment with Cathy as I wanted to talk to her about my painful shoulder.  I set up my laptop, Cathy joined me at the appointed time, and I could see her and she could see me – pretty cool! The directions from Diane Lee & Associates were easy to follow. Not knowing what to expect with this new way of a therapy session, I was pleasantly surprised with how Cathy was able to virtually assess me, explain my symptoms, and then guide me and demonstrate three exercises; all while social distancing, lol.  I started feeling better quite quickly after doing the exercises.  After speaking with Cathy I felt a sense of relief as she helped ease my pain and anxiety.”

 

“Thank you so much for going the extra mile to trail these online sessions. I’ve missed several in person apts with Leigh because of CoVID and decided to try online with her today as I’ve been in some intense pain for a week and not very mobile.  I was kinda nervous getting it set up and couldn’t figure out how to use the Macbook (maybe too old?) but we had a laptop PC that I was able to use. Signed on gave myself 20 mins to play with getting myself in a good spot, rearranging furniture etc.  Our session was thorough and interactive and I have a things to do now. Having a calm, knowledgeable and purposeful team mate to reassure me and get me back on track, especially at this time, means so much. I think I was feeling more alone and afraid than I realized with that nagging pain and no physio to go too.  Feeling very grateful and relieved now; reconnected and stronger again in my commitment for healing and wellness, knowing I’ve got a great team backing me up. Thank you so much!!

 

“I just wanted to weigh in on my experience with the Telehealth appointments. This week will be my 5th or 6th Telehealth appointment. I must admit I was very skeptical at first as to how this was going to work. But it did! Not only have I made progress with the issues I’ve been seeing Leigh for over a year with, after the birth of our second baby. I was having leakage and heaviness with very slight activity…as a former university cross country runner on scholarship, this was devastating for me. Fast forward to today, and with the Telehealth appointments, my leakage and heaviness have COMPLETELY resolved.  But she’s helped me with a new issue that’s come up. I just want to give a HUGE shout out to Leigh. She’s amazing, brilliant and so talented to be able to problem solve and figure issues out on video conference. I feel so grateful that I’ve been able to continue with the progress we’ve worked so hard together to make over the past year since having my second child. Thank you for all of your efforts and for the Telehealth appointments you’ve offered. They’ve been a saving grace during this time and I just cannot say enough about Leigh, except that I’m totally blessed to have her as my physiotherapist.

 

“I wasn’t sure physio care could be possible through video. However, I knew if anyone could assess my issues and help with treatment, it would be Diane. Within the first few minutes of our online session, Diane pinpointed the areas of concern and we worked through exercises. These exercises are helping me manage the pain and correct the imbalances until I can see Diane again in person. Also, I’ve learned exercises that I can use regularly between appointments. Definitely worthwhile!”

 

I have had some virtual sessions with Courtney and have been so grateful that you’ve been open for virtual sessions. I see so many different therapists, so with all of them cut off I was feeling pretty afraid of my progress going backward. I’m not sure how it was for others, but for me, the slow down and being away from outside stimulation is actually good for my brain, so working with Courtney on doing at home therapy has been amazing. She has worked with me on finding the right at home yoga programs for me, good additional stretches, how I can use things I have at home to relieve pains in my neck and back, breathing exercises and even starting some eye exercises. The bonus for me is that before COVID I would have never had the energy or I would have been too dizzy to do yoga or to often go for a walk and eye exercises were difficult, but now I can often find the energy and spots where I’m less dizzy to do some or all of these things through the day. I’ve just been really impressed by how Courtney not only adapted to COVID, but also to me and looked at how my life has changed and what my needs were.

Thank you Diane for opening up for these sessions. It has helped me tremendously through this time and has also given me a new perspective on my healing process as well.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the physiotherapy association of BC (PABC) and the regulatory college support virtual care?

Absolutely, when doing so is safe and in the best interest of the patient. PABC has drafted a position statement on telerehabilitation (pending adoption) and the college has provided various resources on the subject to support its use.

Is it technically complicated?

Not really. While you will inevitably encounter occasional difficulties (as we all do with technology), the general level of digital literacy you require to operate in society generally will allow you to participate in providing virtual care. Of course, you will learn more and encounter some frustrations as you engage this service, but as you do more it becomes quite easy.

Do I need to buy more computer hardware for virtual care?

In all likelihood, no. Most modern laptops and tablets purchase in the last few years will suffice, as long as they have a camera and microphone. Using a phone is not recommended for physiotherapy virtual care as the small screen size inhibits the visual observation of movement, etc. that is very important to assessment.

Will Virtual Visits be covered by 3rd party funders?

As telerehabilitation is relatively new it is best to check with your provider directly. According to the Physiotherapy Association of British Columbia, Sunlife and Great Westlife extended benefits accept telerehabilitation. ICBC has also approved telerehabilitation in the short-term due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our policy with 3rd party funders remains the same, you pay us, we issue you a receipt which you then submit to your insurer.

  1. Nelson, M., Bourke, M., Crossley, K. and Russell, T. (2019) Telerehabilitation is non-inferior to usual care following total hip replacement – A randomized controlled non-inferiority trial. Physiotherapy, . doi:10.1016/j.physio.2019.06.006
  2. Cottrell, Michelle A., O’Leary, Shaun P., Raymer, Maree, Hill, Anne J., Comans, Tracy and Russell, Trevor G. (2019) Does telerehabilitation result in inferior clinical outcomes compared with in-person care for the management of chronic musculoskeletal spinal conditions in the tertiary hospital setting? A non-randomised pilot clinical trial. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, . doi:10.1177/1357633×19887265