Sharp Rees-Stealy uses telehealth to conduct physical therapy
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Although the focus is on treating people who have COVID-19, the healthcare system must still care for patients with other medical problems.
Our KUSI cameras were able to observe a physical therapy session that was conducted through a telehealth visit by a therapist for Sharp Rees-Stealy. We looked at a physical therapy session for 33-year-old Daniel Waldors who is recovering from surgery to remove part of a tumor from his brain.
Most of us think of physical therapy as something that has to be done hands-on and in-person, but because of the precautions that are mandated to prevent the spread of COVID-19, these telehealth visits are being conducted regularly for patients who need medical attention or physical therapy.
The therapists we interviewed at the Sharp Rees Stealy office in Murphy Canyon are now seeing 6 to 8 patients each day, which is half as many patients who were treated in-person before the stay-at-home orders were issued.
The advantage for the patient is they can receive therapy without leaving home and potentially exposing themselves to the risk of contracting COVID-19.
For therapists, it’s meant devising creative ways to provide therapy, which may include using the stairs or furniture in the home to help achieve the patient’s therapy goals.
Telehealth is being used widely throughout the Sharp Rees-Stealy health system. Before the pandemic, SRS conducted about 50 to 60 telehealth visits daily. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, that number has jumped to more than 2,000 telehealth visits a day.