Online Consultations: what’s involved?
At Summertown Clinic, since closing on Tuesday 23rd March, we’ve been offering online consultations (as well as online classes too!).
A few of our patients have asked:
“…how can you do an online osteopath/chiropractor appointment? Surely you need to work with your hands aren’t you a “manual” therapist?”.
The short answer is there’s a lot more to what we do than just the hands on element, and most of that can be done over a video call.
All our online practitioners have undertaken further training to support this new approach.
Telehealth as it’s sometimes known has been around for years in the NHS as physio led research has shown that it’s outcomes (with certain conditions) can be just as effective as normal hands-on treatment. It also saves time in travel, and removes contact stopping the spread of Coronavirus.
What To Expect From An Online Consultation…
Before the Online Consultation:
• Invitation to join: You’ll receive a link by email to the online meeting space. If you haven’t got this at least 2 hours in advance of your appointment (we usually send them 24 hours in advance) then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When you click on the link you’ll often need to agree the computer can join with audio.
• Set up your device and surroundings. You can use a desktop, laptop, mobile, or tablet – whichever you find easiest. Make sure you’re happy with your surroundings in terms of privacy and lack of interruptions. Ideally there would be some space to move about so we can watch you move as part of the assessment and get you to doing some exercises.
• Wear loose clothing – comfortable loose clothing is advisable so you can move as above.
During Your Consultation:
The online consultation is run in the same format as you’ll be used to…
• About you and the problem you’ve got: Finding out about you and the problem we can help you with – we’ll spend time chatting to you about what’s happened, how you’ve been coping, what has and hasn’t been helpful, and ask lots of questions to ensure we know as much about the issue as possible.
• Examination and movement: we will then see what you’re capable of doing, these tests are designed to test our theories about what might be contributing to your problem, and we’ll talk you through each one.
If there’s anything you don’t want to do, for whatever reason you don’t have to, we’ll explain exactly why it’s helpful for us to test you and we will be careful to pick the best and most appropriate tests for you. One of the other limitations we have is we won’t be able to perform some of the more clinical tests that we would face to face so we may have to refer you to another healthcare practitioner (GP, hospital etc) at this point if we think it’s necessary.
• Education and advice: Once we’ve got all the information we need to be able to diagnose your problem, we will explain what’s happened, what might be affecting your recovery, what you (and we) can do to help you improve, and give you an approximate idea of how long it will take before you feel better.
We’ll then have a chance to talk about what options you have, what our ideal approach to treating you would be and why it would be beneficial, what if any risks there might be from what we intend to do, what alternatives maybe available to you, and what would happen if you weren’t to do anything.
We love your questions, but particularly at this point in the consultation it’s a great opportunity for you to ask anything you want to about your problem.
• Treatment and advice: Once we’ve had the above discussion and adapted things according to what you’re happy with, we will start your patient specific treatment plan.
There are obvious limitations with regard to what we can do manual therapy wise for you online, however there are loads of extra things you can do with about of lateral thinking. For example, we can explain how you can treat yourself – where to massage, how to encourage movement through your joints, different ways of releasing and moving yourself, you might be surprised just how effective this can be.
We will also offer you plenty of advice, perhaps lifestyle, nutritional, ergonomic, sleep etc. and we will prescribe exercises to improve mobility, strengthen, stretch and regain functional movement.
We use a market leading exercises prescriptive tool called Physiotec software to send you a copy of your exercises, which allows you to review them online and show you them in a video format. It also allows you to track your progress with us.
• Summary discussion: at the end of the online consultation we will have a chance to confirm follow up phone calls or consultations, discuss expected outcomes and prognoses, and answer any final questions you may have.
After the Consultation
• Follow up: Your continuity of care is important to us, so for each online consultation we do we will arrange a follow up call as a minimum (free), or a follow up online consultation to check on your progress and make any modifications necessary.
• Further contact or care: If you run into any difficulties or have any questions we are available to be contacted through our email or clinic, and will be back in touch with you usually within 24 hours.
Having done this over the last 2 weeks, I’ve been really impressed with how well it works, and despite not getting hands-on, there have already been some great outcomes.
If you’d like more information why not drop us an email, or give us a ring (we’re still manning the phones) on 01865 558561. Otherwise feel free to book your online Osteopathy or Chiropractic appointment online.
For Treatment Criteria and Eligibility please go to this page
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