With your updated sick leave policy—and the current hypervigilance around preventing the spread of illness—there’s a good chance that you may see more employees using their sick days over the next several months. And that’s a good thing. Whether you send home an employee who has the sniffles, one of your therapists calls out because he or she is keeping a child home from daycare, or someone on your staff needs to self-quarantine for the full 14 days
As the world begins to resume operations, many physical therapy professionals are wondering how they can deliver the best possible care to their patients—without putting anyone at risk of contracting COVID-19 in the process.
The US has never been known for its stellar leave policies. Whether you believe that the responsibility for mandating appropriate employee benefits should fall on the shoulders of the federal government or individual employers, that is a debate for another day. For now—as businesses begin to reopen in the midst of a pandemic—rehab therapy practice leaders have no choice but to ensure that their sick leave policies are up to par.
So, you’ve got a marketing plan, you’ve honed your content-creation skills, and you’re ready to get down to (marketing your) business. As with any new endeavor, the road ahead might be a little bumpy—but that’s okay.
Prior to the pandemic, telehealth was slowly gaining traction as a viable mode of service delivery for OTs, PTs, and SLPs. Providers and patients were beginning to appreciate its benefits (especially for patients in rural areas and pediatric patients living on federal land) but adoption was scattered. Some states, such as Georgia, explicitly authorized telehealth in their rehab therapy state practice acts, while others authorized rehab therapy telehealth via a separate, related statute.
“If you don’t reimagine your business post-COVID…you’re not paying attention. The world will change without you.” Rose Marcario, the CEO of Patagonia, shared this advice in a recent interview with LinkedIn News. As therapists and clinic owners begin to assess the future of their practices—especially now that clinics have begun to reopen—this sentiment couldn’t be more relevant.
The pandemic isn’t over, but many rehab therapy clinics are starting to resume operations. Yet, things aren’t—and can’t be—the same as they were before (at least not for the time being), which means in order to move into this next phase, clear communication is paramount.
The coronavirus pandemic was a catalyst for a new wave of regulatory changes that expanded the rehab therapist toolbox almost overnight. Most recently, CMS made telehealth more widely accessible to rehab therapy providers. (Hallelujah!) While the industry has been fighting for this privilege for years, the swift change cast many providers into the uncharted waters of remote care with very little time to prepare.
For those who have no experience with hearing and speech deficits, it’s hard to grasp just how lonely life can be for those who do. Add to that the self-quarantine and social distancing measures implemented in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak, and it’s a recipe for an incredibly isolating experience.
“New normal.” It’s a phrase we’re hearing more and more as the US begins to open up and resume operations—at least partially. This tentative move toward some sense of normalcy means many of us will face significant change in the weeks ahead.
COVID-19 has created the perfect witch’s brew of intense stress. People across the country are concerned about the health of themselves and their families; job security is shaky (and household incomes are dropping); and basic necessities like food staples and hygiene supplies are still—even after two months—difficult to find.