Virtual Care Physiotherapy: FAQs
Your Questions About Virtual Care Physiotherapy Answered
What is virtual care physiotherapy and how does it work?
Virtual care uses audio and/or video conference technology to provide health care services, such as physiotherapy, to patients who are unable to attend an in-person clinic appointment for any number of reasons.
Prior to your appointment, you will receive an email with a link to your appointment session. This will enable both an audio and video connection between you and your clinician.
Any documentation that you need to review and complete prior to your appointment will be sent to you ahead of time.
If at any time during the session either you or your clinician feel that using electronic communications is limiting the effectiveness or quality of the services provided, we will look to schedule an in-person appointment for when our clinics are once again able to do that safely.
IMPORTANT NOTICE FROM PT HEALTH: Please note that not all patients will be eligible or able to participate in a virtual care session. All independent cases are based on the nature of a patient’s injury or ailment and recommended treatment. Please visit our virtual care page and find your local pt Health clinic to contact for more information.
Which physiotherapy services are available via virtual care?
Currently, pt Health is able to provide the following services via virtual care:
- Occupational therapy services*
- Psychology services*
- Chiropractic care**
- Hand therapy***
What device(s) do I need to access a virtual care appointment? Do I need to install any special software?
A laptop, smartphone (Android or iPhone) or tablet (such as an iPad) with a camera and microphone. No software installation is required.
You will need to use an internet browser other than Internet Explorer. Acceptable browsers include Firefox, Chrome and Safari.
Is virtual care for physiotherapy covered by my insurance/health benefits?
Many extended health insurance companies are providing coverage for virtual care. Please reach out to your benefits provider to inquire about your coverage limits for virtual physiotherapy.
How do I book a virtual care appointment for physiotherapy?
To book a virtual care appointment, visit our virtual care physiotherapy page and call us or follow the steps on the form.
What can I expect from my first virtual care appointment?
At the beginning of a Virtual Care session, if you haven’t met before, your clinician will review your ID.
They will also obtain consent from you to participate in the session via the electronic communication platform.
Once that is complete, they will proceed with the assessment or treatment in a similar manner as for an in-person appointment.
This includes discussing your medical history, concerns and current status. Any questions or concerns you may have about Virtual Care, such as privacy or follow-up sessions, can be addressed during the session.
What are some key differences between virtual care and an in-person appointment?
The services are largely the same. Our clinicians are required to meet the same regulatory and legislative requirements and adhere to their respective Standards of Practice and Code of Conduct, just as they are for in-person services.
pt Health has strict privacy and information security policies and procedures in place regarding the management of information when using electronic communication technologies.
What are some benefits of virtual care vs. in-person appointments?
Virtual Care services offer several advantages for physiotherapy patients, such as:
- Removes accessibility and/or mobility barriers
- Connects you with service providers regardless of location
- Protects your privacy through safeguards and robust policies
- Reduces travel time while still ensuring you receive quality care
How much does virtual care for physiotherapy cost? Is it more than an in-person appointment?
For private / third party patients, we are offering 30 mins of virtual care at our regular TPP/PRI rates or 15 minutes at half of that rate.
Will I be able to see my usual physiotherapist for a virtual care appointment?
Due to various scheduling issues and uncertainty surrounding the current situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot guarantee that you will be given an appointment with your usual physiotherapist.
However, we will do our best to accommodate you for each booking and you will know who you are scheduled to work with when you accept the booking.
Is virtual care secure and private?
Yes. Patient privacy is of the utmost concern to all levels of staff at pt Health.
All virtual care sessions are provided through a secure, encrypted connection, and only your physiotherapist will be present on their end of the connection for the duration of your appointment.
What if my physiotherapist records my virtual care session? Will I be informed?
pt Health does not record the audio or video of any virtual care physiotherapy sessions.
The software we use to provide virtual care is private, secure and HIPAA and PIPEDA compliant.
The software does take note of, and archive, session start times, end times, and any chat messages sent between you and your physiotherapist – however, there is no recording of audio or video during a virtual care session.
What happens if my physiotherapist and I experience technical difficulties or get disconnected during my session?
We will provide you with a phone number at which you can reach your physiotherapist in the event that you are disconnected.
pt Health will have your phone number on file in order to reach you in the event that you are disconnected.
If you are participating in your virtual care session somewhere other than your home, please ensure you inform us of the best method to quickly follow up with you after a disconnection.
Should any technical issues persist and prevent you from carrying out your session as planned, we will work with you to reschedule your virtual care session as soon as possible.
Are there any limitations or risks to participating in a virtual care session compared to an in-person service?
There are some limitations like the inability to apply hands on evaluation and treatment, but this would not be necessary as part of the virtual care service you are receiving.
There are inherent risks to participant information when using electronic communication technologies (ECT); however, pt Health has strict privacy and information security policies and procedures in place to evaluate and address these risks; and our virtual care providers are expected to meet the same regulatory and legislative requirements and adhere to their respective Standards of Practice and Code of Conduct, just as they are for in?person services.