What to Expect with Virtual E-Consultation Sessions
Many interventions and modalities can be provided virtually, including but not limited to:
- Triaging, initial assessment (subjective and some objective components, including outcome measures), ongoing assessments to monitor progress including use of objective assessment tools that are available in many software programs and apps
- Exercise prescription, supervised therapeutic exercise and appropriate progressions
- Home based modalities including electrical stimulation and heat/cold applications if the patient has the equipment at their home
- Self-administered techniques such as soft tissue massage or frictions under the direction of the physiotherapist including patient education on how to do this and at what intensity
- Support for self-management, education, coaching and reassurance for patients and for caregivers, teaching the patient’s family how to assist in performing stretches or guided home exercises
- Assessment of how patients are functioning and adapting in their home environments including assessment of fall risks and other functional/activities of daily living assessments
- Bracing, donning and removal and check-in on fit and outcomes for bracing.
How do the sessions take place?
Methods of communication may include any of the following:
- Client records/medical images
- Live two-way audio and video
- Output data from medical devices and sound and video files
Electronic systems used will incorporate network and software security protocols to protect the confidentiality of patient identification and imaging data and will include measures to safeguard the data and to ensure its integrity against intentional or unintentional corruption. An invitation to a private session with a password will be sent to the client in advance of the meeting time.
What are the limitations and risks?
As with any service, there are potential risks associated with the use of telemedicine. These risks include, but may not be limited to:
- In rare cases, information transmitted may not be sufficient (e.g. poor resolution of images) to allow for appropriate decision making by the health care practitioner and consultant(s).
- There are possible risks of using any electronic communications and privacy.
- There is some potential for mis-diagnosis due to the challenge of performing a physical examination over videoconferencing. However, with a thorough history and comprehensive movement analysis an impression can be formed to direct treatment. You may be recommended to see a doctor if there are any concerns or red flags. In some cases, it may be helpful to have a family member or individual present to assist with the assessment.
- Delays in medical evaluation and treatment could occur due to deficiencies or failures of the equipment.
Will my insurance cover digital services?
Most Extended Health Care Insurers offer coverage for virtual services. We recommend you review your coverage directly with your provider.
- In our experience, as movement may be required, we suggest using a laptop to connect or using a self-supported tablet or phone.
- It may be helpful if another person is available to observe and assist during the session.
- We recommend logging in prior to your session in order to test your video and audio.
Preparing for your E-Consult
Step 1: We typically use zoom (https://zoom.us) for our E-Consults. For best results, use a laptop so you may move it around if needed. Sign up for Zoom which is best downloaded using Chrome as your browser. [If you are joining from a mobile device then you will be prompted to download the Zoom Cloud Meetings app from the App/Play Store].
Step 2: Write down your sign in and login password.
Step 3: Practice a videoconference with a family or friend and acquaint yourself to the microphone.
Right before you E-Consult
Step 1: Five minutes prior to your appointment time, get yourself set up with a fully charged computer and have your cell phone close by. Make sure that you are sitting comfortably in a well lit area with the computer in an optimal position.
Step 2: At your scheduled meeting time, connect to your online session by clicking on the link that your therapist emailed you -or- by going to zoom.us and clicking on the Join a Meeting button. You will then be prompted to add your meeting ID and meeting password (both included in the email from your therapist).