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Survey ‘visualizes’ telehealth’s benefits

Survey ‘visualizes’ telehealth’s benefits

Cara MasselinkYARMOUTH, Maine – The Clinician Task Force has collected more than 40 completed surveys that stakeholders will use to educate Congress and other policy makers on the importance of physical and occupational therapists retaining the ability to provide telehealth services. 

The survey, distributed in collaboration with NCART, will remain open as needed, says Cara Masselink, executive director of the CTF. 

“We have a great variety of examples to pull from that describe the breadth of what clinicians do,” she said. “What I really love is the examples are unique and client-centered.” 

The surveys support efforts in Congress to permanently expand access to telehealth services, including those provided by PTs and OTs, particularly H.R. 2168

Though the examples are often unique, they have one thing in common, Masselink says: They show how telehealth can allow clinicians to do their jobs better and more efficiently. 

“There were quite a few examples where clinicians felt they would have had trouble, or would have spent more time asking the client questions, if they weren’t able to visualize things like they were able to with telehealth,” she said. “They could observe clients moving through the home.” 

In one example, a clinician was able to determine that a client’s pressure injuries were not due to just their wheelchair but also a commode seat. In another example, a clinician was better able to determine the needs of a client with aphasia, Masselink says. 

“The client wasn’t able to describe what was inhibiting them – they could describe something was wrong but not what,” she said. “Seeing the client move through the environment helped the clinician determine that what.” 


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