In these unprecedented times, there comes a need for innovation and lateral thinking to continue to provide our patients with excellent care and service. Telehealth, while reasonably new in Osteopathy, aims to bridge a much-needed gap in health communication. In this blog, we will explore what Telehealth is, discuss what to expect in an online consultation, and answer some common questions.
Telehealth occurs in place of a typical consultation when distance and other factors create barriers for face to face consultation. It involves the use of a video-based service which allows us to conduct an online consultation between practitioner and patient. As Osteopaths, we acknowledge that a large part of our practice is in the form of manual therapy, which is difficult to replicate in an online consultation. However, we are still able to provide you with the great service we are known for! The assessment, diagnostic advice, lifestyle advice, rehabilitation programs and self-therapy strategies we give, are all still the same. We can still advise you on what you should and shouldn’t do; the best ways to stretch this and strengthen that, and help educate you about any injury you may have. We want to empower you to help yourself
The benefits of offering Telehealth are varied:
- Allows us to overcome any distance barriers
- Cheaper consultation fee
- No travel time required
- Can be completed in more varied environments – home, work etc
- Allows the practitioner to assess ergonomic setup if necessary
Before your consult
When you make the appointment, you will receive an email with an attachment. Android users will find the attachment at the top of the email, while Apple users will find the link at the bottom of the email. If you click on this attachment, there is the option to add the appointment to your calendar, as a reminder. At the time of the appointment, you need to go back to this original email, click on the attachment and connect to the video chat. We would like to assure our patients that your privacy is of the utmost importance, that is why we are using a telehealth system created by our current diary package, Cliniko and not Zoom.
During your consult
Your online consultation will follow in the same manner as your typical physical consultation, minus the manual therapy of course! Your practitioner will conduct the normal case history and ask you some questions about your injury. During the assessment, we may require you to demonstrate different movements and activities, as well as placing your body into different positions to help your practitioner ascertain what is going on. Upon completing the assessment, your practitioner will take you through different strategies in order to help your condition – this may include self-massage instructions, management advice, rehab advice, lifestyle advice, ergonomic advice or (likely) a combination of all of the above. Your consultation is likely to take around 20 minutes rather than the usual 30 minutes we have in physical consultations.
After your consult
Following your consultation, your practitioner will send any resources or management plans through to you via email. They can also discuss any future appointments with you. We will also send you a link by text to make a payment for the consultation.
You may not have even heard the term ‘Telehealth’ before this week. Let’s go through a few frequently asked questions surrounding Telehealth and online consultation in general.
How do I book in a Telehealth consultation?
The easiest way to book in a telehealth consultation is to go to our website and book online. Justine is available for telehealth consultations on a Monday and Wednesday, and Gemma is available on a Tuesday or Thursday. If you are an existing patient, select ‘Online Follow Up Consultation’ or if you are new to the clinic, then select ‘Online New Patient Consultation’. If you are finding this difficult or would rather speak to someone before booking, you can give us a call on 01293 784200.
What equipment will I require?
As a minimum, you will require a stable internet connection, as well as a mobile device, tablet, laptop or desktop computer with a webcam and microphone. Laptop or desktop computers are ideal as we will often ask you to step away from your device to demonstrate certain movements and exercises.
Does the online consultation cost the same amount as my regular consultation?
No, a reduced fee of £25.00 will be charged for your online consultation.
How can I provide payment for my consultation?
We will text you with a link to enable you to make payment.
Do I need a follow-up appointment?
As with our regular physical service, the amount of consultations required for each individual is varied. We will discuss this with you during your consultation.
Is this covered by my private health insurance?
Osteopathy Telehealth appointments are not currently covered by private health cover.
What should I wear during my consultation?
As with your regular consultation, it is best to wear loose, comfortable clothing for your online consultation. Remember that your practitioner may need to assess your movement, so appropriate clothing is really important. If you have any questions surrounding Telehealth or would like to gather some more information, please give our Clinic Co-Ordinators a call on 01293 784200. Otherwise, we look forward to seeing you online!