COVID-19 - Patient Information

COVID-19 - Patient Information

Updated: 30/03/2020


To our valued Fitwise clients,

The health and safety of our patients and staff is our number one priority. Advice surrounding the Coronavirus is constantly evolving, we are being regularly updated by the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) regarding protocols for our practice, which we are strictly following to help keep you safe. If you have an upcoming appointment with us, be assured it's business as usual. We're safe and here to look after you. If you are well and comfortable to attend, please do - we are working extra hard to create a healthy, welcoming and calm environment for you. 

In this article, we have detailed everything you need to know regarding our response to COVID-19 - our protocols, what to do if you are unwell and alternative options we have available to continue your care from home. Please read on and remember, we are here to support you during these uncertain times. 

HEALTH & SAFETY 

If you have recently traveled, if you are experiencing the following symptoms; fever, cough, shortness of breath or sore throat, or have been told to self-isolate, please contact our reception team to discuss your upcoming appointment. We can offer alternative options, such as an online consultation if necessary.

We want to take this opportunity to inform clients of the hygiene measures we are taking to ensure patient/staff safety.

  • We have hospital-grade hand wash and sanitiser available throughout our practice, we are asking all visitors to use this upon entry and again when leaving the practice
  • We are converting most of our appointments to telehealth, as this is a great option for most of our clients. This means we have less volume of patients coming into the practice
  • All in-practice appointments have a limit of 30 minutes to minimise social contact
  • We are no longer offering any type of group exercise or clinical physio class. This is to comply with social distancing guidelines
    - Our exercise classes (P40, Strengthwise, Fitness Pilates, C60 and Physio Stretch & Flow) are being live streamed. Please see timetable here: https://www.fitwise.com.au/class-timetables
    - Instead of group clinical physio, for clients who are well and comfortable to attend, we are now offering 1:1 sessions, for the same price as a group. This allows clients to still do their exercise, while limiting social contact
  • Our exercise equipment, such as reformers, weights, bikes and fit-balls are being disinfected after use. We are also asking clients to wipe as they go and have spray bottles in our studios
  • We have removed the toy box from our exercise studios
  • We have removed the magazines from our reception area, chairs have been separated and are being cleaned regularly throughout the day
  • We are not currently accepting cash payments
  • Anything that is touched regularly throughout the day, such as door handles, rails, reception desk, pens etc are being disinfected every hour.

To help minimise the impact, all staff will now work at either our East Melbourne or Armadale practice (without crossing over). This ensures, that if one location needs to be closed, we can continue to care for you at our other location. This is precautionary action only.

What this means for you...
Your treating physiotherapist may not be available at your preferred location for several weeks, if you have a scheduled appointment that is directly impacted, a member of our reception team will have already contacted you to discuss. Our reception team will keep you up to date and informed with any schedule changes as they happen.

Simple measures we can all take to help prevent the spread.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds, use hand sanister when you don't have access to a sink
  • Avoid touching your eyes, face and mouth
  • Sneeze into a tissue or your elbow and cover your mouth if you need to cough.

Please see link to view our current hygiene protocol which is currently in action throughout our practices. Please click here

TELEHEALTH/ONLINE CONSULTATIONS

If you are unwell, been told to self-isolate or choosing to self-distance we can continue your care via telehealth consultations - which is a fancy way of saying online consultations!

A virtual consultation with your treating physiotherapist can be just as beneficial as a face to face. We can offer education, advice, instructions on how to 'self-treat' as well as exercise sessions and home exercise programs, to keep you on track. 

Below, we’ve answered our patients frequently asked questions to help provide more information about how online consultations work.

1. Can my treating physiotherapist conduct a proper assessment during an online consult?

Yes. Our physiotherapists assess your presenting concern via two main types of assessment. One involves asking you questions relevant to diagnosing the cause of your issue, the other is a physical examination which may involve watching how you perform certain movements or tasks. Both techniques can be done via telehealth - much of the information we gain from asking you questions gives us a very good understanding of what is contributing to your issue. From there, we can formulate your diagnosis and treatment plan.

2. Can my physiotherapist provide proper treatment online?

Much of what physiotherapists provide in the way of treatment is advice and education, as well as a targeted rehabilitation/management program. This converts very well to an online setting. Hands-on or manual treatment with your physio is obviously not available, however there are many ways your therapist can teach you to self-treat to help provide symptom relief, as we always do during our face to face consultations.

3. Is my consultation and information discussed secure?

Yes. We use a video conferencing feature through our online booking system, Cliniko to provide virtual consultations. It is an encrypted, secure platform. The best thing is, it's super easy to use. Once we book your appointment, you will receive an email that contains an access link. At the time of your appointment, simply click the link and it will take you directly to your video consultation. 

4. How can I learn the exercises, or get the handouts required?

We use a program called Physiapp which enables us to send you your individually prescribed exercises with pictures, videos and instructions, as well as educational handouts and any questionnaires required. You can download Physiapp via the app store for apple devices, and the google play store for android. To access online you can login via www.physiapp.com - your treating physiotherapist will email you your access code. 

5. Do my online consultations qualify for a private health insurance or medicare rebate?

Yes! As of last week, it was announced that medicare and private health insurance rebates will be available for telehealth consultations. Woo!

  • Private health rebates will be available from the 14th of April 2020. To read more and see if you are eligible, please click here
  • Medicare rebates are now available for clients who hold a current Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) plan which approves them for physiotherapy consultations. For more information about how EPC plans work in our practice, please contact our reception team. 

To help support clients during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have lowered the cost of our online services. All telehealth consultations will be a flat fee of $50. We hope this will help make essential care more accessible during this challenging time.

PREPARING FOR YOUR TELEHEALTH CONSULTATION

To book, click the button below or contact our reception team at your preferred location - 9822 4999 (Armadale) 9486 0512 (East Melbourne). 

Stay well,
The Fitwise team x

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