Various types of businesses, including some healthcare clinics are starting to re-open in the Greater Toronto Area and the excitement is nearly palpable. Naturally the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have led to fundamental changes to business operations that have slowly become the new normal. From limiting occupancy in stores and clinics, to curbside pick up options and mandatory masks, we are all becoming accustomed to these new practices.
In many cases, healthcare practitioners face the additional challenge of being physically close to their patients to conduct examinations and treatments. This, combined with the typically small size of an average clinic treatment room, does not present an optimal scenario for preventing the transmission of any infection, especially COVID-19. The good news is, treatments don’t always have to take place indoors.
According to Dr. Stan Houston, an infectious disease specialist and professor of medicine at the University of Alberta, “...almost nothing is transmitted efficiently out of doors.” We also know that, “according to emerging research, most cases of COVID-19 seem to arise from prolonged contact with an infected individual.” This means there are greater opportunities to resume health and wellness appointments that are safe for both patients and practitioners.
Using technology to make healthcare appointments safer
Virtual healthcare appointments have been around for a while, but when the pandemic hit the demand surged. It’s easier than ever to book and attend virtual appointments and it’s a great option for most people looking for help with a variety of conditions, including repetitive work related strain. Working in make-shift offices during such stressful times has undoubtedly contributed to consistent aching joints and muscles. Since this is the digital age, the next logical step is a quick internet search to find a solution. Whether you’re trying to get another pair of orthotics for your throbbing legs or connect with your massage therapist, it seems like everything is just a click away.
Virtual healthcare appointments are convenient, but they’re limited to services and practices that don’t require physical touch and manipulation of the patient by the practitioner. For example, custom orthotics require accurate measurements to ensure this corrective device is precisely what you need. The hybrid approach is quickly becoming popular since it combines virtual and in-person visits to fully address all concerns. Many patients start their initial consultation online with a qualified healthcare professional, but the treatment ultimately takes place in person.
Housecalls are making a comeback
House calls were quite common in the 1930’s and dwindled by the 1980’s; but, the events of the 21st century are causing a resurgence. With technology that enables online booking systems and mobile apps, it’s easier than ever to book an at-home appointment with a doctor or a variety of other healthcare professionals. Combine that with the changes to our daily lives because of the global pandemic, house calls are a safer and more convenient way to access healthcare services. It is becoming quite normal for Physiotherapists, Massage Therapists and Chiropodists to visit patients in their homes to provide individualized care.
Think ‘Outside the Clinic’
As a mobile healthcare clinic in the Greater Toronto Area, HealthCasa is uniquely positioned to offer a convenient way to access a variety of healthcare services, reducing the risk for both patients and practitioners. Evidence continues to show that the risk of infection is higher in poorly ventilated, crowded areas.