How to choose a physical therapy practice
Choosing a facility for you or a loved one to recuperate can be a difficult thing to do —especially when you are mired in the medical issues. To help in this instance, the experts at Hospital for Special Surgery created some tips to guide you in your decision-making.
· Call the facility and ask questions to make sure there are physical therapists with expertise in treating your particular problem.
· Ask who will be treating you and how much experience the therapist has. Once you begin physical therapy, make sure you’re receiving care from a licensed physical therapist or a licensed physical therapy assistant.
· Choose a location that is convenient to where you live or work. Try to set up a time to take a tour of the facility before beginning therapy. A reputable practice should have no problem arranging a quick visit.
· Note if the facility is clean and well maintained. Are therapists washing their hands between patients? Consider what the atmosphere is like. Are therapists and therapy assistants actively working with patients, or are people standing around waiting to be treated?
· Are people working there wearing a name badge with their job title? They are required to do so in many states, including New York.
· Consider how quickly you can get an appointment. If you need to wait more than a week or two, you may be better off finding a facility where you can start sooner, especially if you’ve had recent surgery.
· If health insurance is an important consideration for you, make sure the practice accepts your insurance. Also, if you require special equipment, such as a pool, make sure it’s available at the facility.
· If you feel the physical therapist is not spending enough time with you, appears distracted, or is bouncing back and forth between you and other patients, you may want to find someone who offers more personalized care and attention. The experts say that if you ever feel uncomfortable or if an exercise or treatment is painful, you should speak up.
· You should also receive instruction on exercises to do at home. The therapist may provide handouts, a link to a video demonstrating the correct movements, or another form of instruction to ensure you are doing the exercise correctly.
Your physician and social worker should be able to provide you with a few options for a rehabilitation center. If possible, Healthnetwork will try to assist with referrals for rehabilitation centers; however, we have limited options. Please call our office for more information.
SUSAN LOCKE,MD, is Healthnetwork Foundation’s medical director.
HEALTHNETWORK is a Legatus membership benefit, a healthcare “concierge service” that provides members and their families access to some of the most respected hospitals in the world. One Call Starts It All: (866) 968-2467 or (440) 893-0830. Email: email@example.com
HEALTHNETWORK FOUNDATION is a non-profit whose mission is to improve medicine for all by connecting CEOs with leading hospitals and their doctors to provide the best access to world-class care and increase philanthropic funding for medical research.