Telemed to the rescue

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Friday, October 20, 2017

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. – An important part of the growth strategy of CHAS Group is what Cindi Petito calls “telemed.”

The physical and occupational therapy practice sometimes uses thera-LINK, which provides HIPAA-secure video and file sharing, as a “virtual office” to evaluate the needs of its patients remotely.

“If we don’t have a therapist covering an area, or the patient lives in a rural area and they can’t get to a clinic because they’re homebound, we’ll do telemed,” said Petito, OTR/L, ATP, CAPS. “It’s just another way to reach out to patients.”

It’s a tool that will come in handy as CHAS Group sets its sights on expanding into Georgia, which has large swaths of rural areas, particularly in the southern part of the state (see related story).

Because CHAS Group employs contract therapists, Petito says she also uses telemed to supervise their work, especially for therapists new to wheeled mobility and complex seating evaluations. This relieves some of the pressure of trying to grow a business in a field where there are few experienced therapists and few cost effective, hands-on educational opportunities.

“We’re training them the best we can,” she said, “and telemed helps.”