Healthlinks virtual rehab makes healing accessible and safe at homeJul 29, 2020
Patients of all ages recovering from stroke, orthopedic injury, or needing other rehabilitation critical to their health and healing, need not worry about traveling outside their home to receive excellent care, thanks to Baptist Health System’s Healthlink. This year, Healthlink is the first in its parent company, Tenet Health, to offer virtual outpatient rehabilitation appointments to patients in San Antonio.
“We are so proud to be able to offer our patients this critical service, which accommodates each individual patient’s needs and removes the burden of their needing to mask up and travel for treatment, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic,” said Steve Cummings, regional director of rehab services and Healthlink for Baptist Heath System. Outpatients are those who, after a surgery or procedure, do not need to spend a night in a hospital. Their physician discharges them and they are able to recover at home.
“Our outpatient rehab provides for a seamless continuum of care,” Cummings said. “Patients receive one-on-one therapy in the safety and convenience of their own home. Another benefit of this service is that we can now expand our patient access into neighboring underserved communities,” he said. Healthlink is part of Tenet Health, which is working to implement this innovative program for outpatient rehab services across its national network in 14 states.
Services offered through the virtual outpatient program include:
- Physical or orthopedic therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Neurological therapy
- Pediatric rehabilitation for children 0 to 10 years
A licensed therapist leads each rehab session. Cummings adds that Healthlink's highly skilled therapists conduct the virtual sessions to assist patients with a multitude of therapy needs. To connect with a licensed therapist, patients simply need the following: Internet access, a device with a camera and audio capabilities, and a space to perform rehab exercises as needed. Once connected, therapists guide the patient through an exercise program tailored for him or her. After each session, the therapist follows up with each patient and provides links to special how-to videos that demonstrate how to perform the therapy at home. The videos carefully walk the patient through the program so they can continue on their own until their next virtual Healthlink appointment with their therapist.