From left: Outpatient Physical Therapist James Manna, PT, DPT, OCS, Outpatient Occupational Therapist Angela Serig, OTR/L, CHT, CLT-LANA, and Rehabilitation Services Manager Kerstin Palm, OTR/L, CHT, CLT, MA
At the American Society of Hand Therapists Annual Meeting, held recently in Washington, DC, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital’s Outpatient Rehabilitation Services Manager Kerstin Palm, OTR/L, CHT, CLT, MA, and Outpatient Occupational Therapist Angela Serig, OTR/L, CHT, CLT-LANA, and Outpatient Physical Therapist James Manna, PT, DPT, OCS, presented their poster “Can telerehabilitation improve access to therapy services for post-operative patients?” during the exhibit session.
The project is the result of the group’s collaboration with Chief of Orthopaedics Brandon Earp, MD, and Chief of the Hand and Upper Extremity Service Philip Blazar, MD, and is funded by a BCRISP grant. Many of BWFH’s patients require intensive physical and occupational therapy post-operatively. But often, access to these therapy services can be impacted by a patient’s challenges with scheduling, mobility, transportation or distant geography. “At the American Society of Hand Therapists Annual Meeting, we presented our pilot project which aims to increase access to physical therapy and occupational therapy for post-operative reverse total shoulder and total thumb joint replacement patients through the use of the Brigham Health Virtual Visit platform,” explains Palm.
Serig elaborates, “Patients were offered the program pre-operatively by their orthopaedic surgeon and, if they chose to participate, they were scheduled for weekly rehabilitation services visits which would alternate between in-clinic visits and virtual visits with the treating therapist.”
During the exhibit session, many conference attendees stopped to speak with the team about their work. “We got a lot of great questions from attendees,” says Manna. “Many of our colleagues were interested to know how a virtual visit is possible, what is required to complete it, how we bill for the services and what our clinical outcomes are. They were also curious to hear patient feedback.”
For the group, presenting their work on a national stage was a rewarding experience. “We were able to reach a much broader population of clinicians with whom we could share our experiences and learn their perspectives,” says Palm. “We’re now feeling very motivated to take the next step to move our pilot program forward.”
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