Caitlin Clement|8/24/2023|4 min read

How to Utilize Telehealth for Your Physical Therapy (PT) Business

9 ways telehealth and RPM can benefit a physical therapy practice

middle aged black female physical therapists looks a patient data on tablet

The field of healthcare is rapidly evolving, and technological advancements are playing a pivotal role in shaping its future. One area that has experienced significant transformation is physical therapy, thanks to the integration of telehealth and remote patient monitoring (RPM). 

These innovative solutions are revolutionizing the way physical therapy practices operate, allowing for improved patient care, increased accessibility and enhanced efficiency. In this blog post, we'll dive into 10 compelling ways telehealth and RPM can benefit a physical therapy practice.

Expands patient reach and accessibility

The two biggest reasons patients don’t seek out physical therapy is lack of time and cost. It’s a misconception that PT needs to be 3-4 visits a week for multiple hours each visit—for the majority of patients, that’s simply not necessary. 

Telehealth and RPM break down geographical barriers, enabling physical therapy practices to extend their services beyond the confines of their local area. Patients who may have difficulty traveling due to distance, mobility issues or transportation challenges can now access expert care remotely. 

This expansion of reach not only benefits patients but also opens up new avenues for practice growth and access to unique patient populations. 

Convenient care for patients and therapists

One of the most significant advantages of virtual care technology in physical therapy is the convenience it offers to patients. Instead of having to commute to the clinic for each session, patients can now receive therapy from the comfort of their own homes when available. This eliminates travel time, reduces disruptions to their daily routine, and enhances overall patient satisfaction.

Virtual platforms 

Having a virtual option can also be more approachable for patients who fear or are hesitant to receive physical therapy. To some patients, PT is just another layer of pain added on top of what they are already experiencing—therefore avoiding it all together. 

Telehealth gives PTs a platform to educate their patients on physical therapy and its benefits without the commitment required to meet in-person. Making it more likely for a patient to “test the waters” and hopefully seek the treatment they need.

This could look like an initial video conference with the patient to talk about their injury and address any questions or concerns they have. Then discuss what potential next steps might look like if they were to continue. 

RPM technology

For the therapists, remote patient monitoring makes it easier to track patient progress and adjust treatment plans in real-time. Additionally, telehealth’s tracking capabilities can hold patients accountable for treatment, increasing adherence and building better care outcomes. 

Improved patient compliance and consistency

Telehealth and RPM enable physical therapists to closely monitor patient progress and ensure adherence to treatment plans. Patients receive real-time feedback and guidance during exercises, increasing their engagement and motivation. This level of consistent communication fosters better patient compliance, leading to more effective outcomes.

This can be executed through HIPAA compliant telehealth platforms that allow patients to log and PTs to track electronic health data. In some instances, RPM devices can be synced to these platforms via bluetooth or cloud systems for continuous, real-time monitoring of progress.

Physical therapists are then able to create, track and automate more consistent care plans while being able to easily customize to meet any unique patient needs.  

Personalized patient treatment plans

With the help of digital health technology, physical therapists can tailor treatment plans to meet individual patient needs more effectively. Remote monitoring of patients' progress and symptoms allows therapists to adjust exercises and interventions in real time. Aligning with a more value-based mode of care, prioritizing patient outcome instead of services rendered. This personalized approach leads to more efficient recovery and better patient satisfaction.

Enhanced patient engagement, better outcomes

Engagement and treatment adherence is a critical factor in successful physical therapy outcomes. Telehealth platforms offer interactive tools that engage patients through video consultations, exercise demonstrations and progress tracking. These features empower patients to take an active role in their recovery, leading to improved results.

Time and cost savings

For both patients and physical therapy practices, telehealth and RPM offer significant time and cost savings. Patients save money on transportation and visit costs, while reducing time away from work or other ancillary costs such as childcare, pet care or other support services. 

Simultaneously, practices can optimize their scheduling and use resources more efficiently, leading to increased productivity and revenue.

Early intervention and preventive care

Another way patients, providers and payers can see better cost savings with telehealth is through early intervention and preventative care support. Telehealth technology, like remote patient monitoring, enables physical therapists to identify potential issues early and intervene, preventing minor problems from becoming more serious injuries or chronic conditions. 

By remotely monitoring patients' progress and symptoms, therapists are able to provide timely guidance, make faster decisions, prevent setbacks and promote quicker recovery.

Continuity of care

Physical therapists often work with patients throughout their treatment period. Continuity of care is an important part to maintaining and creating a positive patient experience and outcome. In some cases, patients may require ongoing care even after they've completed their initial treatment. 

Telehealth and RPM allow for seamless continuity of care through secure messaging systems, EHRs and communication platforms, enabling physical therapists to maintain a connection with patients and address any new concerns that arise. By being a part of a patient's entire care journey, it's a great way for PTs to provide a more holistic care experience as well. Taking all health factors into account when prescribing and creating a treatment plan or follow-up. 

Data-driven insights

Remote patient monitoring generates a wealth of data that can be harnessed to gain insights into patient outcomes and treatment effectiveness. By collecting and analyzing  this patient data, physical therapy practices can refine their approaches, identify trends and make evidence-based decisions that lead to better patient care.

Stronger therapist-patient relationships

Contrary to the misconception that telehealth might lead to impersonal interactions, it can actually foster stronger therapist-patient relationships. Regular virtual check-ins and personalized guidance build trust and rapport between patients and therapists, creating a supportive environment for healing and recovery.

Powering your physical therapy practice

Virtual care is reshaping the landscape of physical therapy, offering a multitude of benefits to both practitioners and patients. From expanding accessibility to improving patient engagement, these technologies are transforming the way physical therapy practices deliver care. 

As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, embracing these innovations can position your practice at the forefront of positive change, enhancing patient outcomes and propelling growth in the digital age.

Speaking of growth, we’d love to introduce OpenLoop! We are a white-labeled telehealth solution in the business of building better patient outcomes. With our private-label EHR platform, our clients are able to customize to meet their patient-flow and branding standards. Our provider staffing service also gives our clients access to 30+ specialities and continuity of care at every touchpoint in the patient journey.

Our full suite of white-labeled Telehealth Support Services include: