Last week, I had the absolute pleasure of attending the Verdant Health Commission 2016 Healthier Community Conference at the Lynnwood Convention Center. I wanted to share some of my take-aways, so buckle up!
First, we have such wonderful resources in our community to help people live healthier lives. Check out everything that the Verdant Health Commission offers: http://verdanthealth.org/ There is a wealth of information there, as well as a calendar of all of the free events that are offered. I also learned about Senior Services of Snohomish County (SSSC): http://www.sssc.org/index. They also have resources from all aspects of life (housing, social, transit, medical, etc) for seniors in our community.
I listened to a panel of providers discuss how to improve patient advocacy. First up was Dr. Blakeney of Edmonds Family Medicine. She discussed the importance of setting SMART goals—specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. Change is a process, not a single event. Ever small changes can have huge impacts on your health. Example: walking 30 minutes/day, 5 days/week can reduce your blood pressure by 10 points—every 5 points it drops, your risk of stroke decreases by 34%!
The second speaker was Dr. Sinnett from Proliance Surgical Specialists of Edmonds. She spoke about how to manage your own advocacy when your health decisions become more complicated. She suggested that first and foremost, maintaining your health NOW can help minimize the complications during a medical emergency. For example, your tissues will heal better after an injury if your blood glucose has been managed beforehand and you’re not diabetic. She recommended that all carry a wallet summary of your health history, which could include your meds, your med history, and members of your care team. Her last point was to come to your appointments prepared—bring a second set of ears and bring a list of questions.
The final sessions I attended were about supporting those in need, how medical and social services are working together to improve care, and how to achieve health equity. There were great discussions in each session and I left feeling inspired by the things that are happening around us. My eyes were also open to how far we have to go though, too.
Here is one example of a program in our community that has come from partnership and passion: Move 60!
Please ask away if you have any questions for me about my experience. I would love to share more!
October is National Physical Therapy Month. I’d like to share some information from the American Physical Therapy Association about how physical therapy can help our population #AgeWell.
Check out nine tips on how physical therapists can help you!
If you have any questions about physical therapy, please comment or contact us! We’d love to tell you more about what we do and how we can help you (no matter what your age or injury/illness). Find our contact info at our website.
As a follow up to last month’s #getPT1st blog post, I want to take the opportunity to educate you all about direct access. Direct access means that you can see a physical therapist without a referral from another provider. In the past, you had to get a referral for PT services from a physician. That has changed as insurance companies have been provided with data that demonstrates that physical therapy is cost-effective, safe, and produces meaningful long-term outcomes.
Each state is different, so check out this link to learn more about direct access in your state. In Washington state where we are located, we have almost full direct access. We must refer out when a patient’s condition is outside our scope of practice and we cannot use orthotics in treatment without a referral. That’s it!
There is one catch, however. I must say that despite legal direct access, insurance companies can still choose to limit payments at their own discretion. My advice to you is to take the time to call your insurance company and ask if they require a referral for payment for physical therapy services. If they don’t, you’re good to go! If they do, then you will need to contact your physician for a referral still.
Direct access can save you time and money! You don’t have to spend a few hours at the doctor’s office just to have them tell you to go to physical therapy. You don’t have to pay for that office visit to them. We have the highest knowledge of musculoskeletal conditions second only to orthopedic surgeons (Childs, J.D., et al., A description of physical therapists’ knowledge in managing musculoskeletal conditions. BMC Musculoskelet Disord, 2005. 6: p. 32.)
If you have any questions about direct access or physical therapy, contact us at 425-673-5220 or firstname.lastname@example.org We’d love to be a resource for you!
On July 1, PTs, PTAs, and SPTs all over the US are connected to take over social media and educate the public about why they should GetPT1st. We will share our stories, we hope patients will share their stories, and we will share the research that shows how valuable, effective, and cost-saving PT can be.
I came to PT through two minor injuries. My first was a simple finger injury in high school basketball, but I didn’t manage it correctly and the finger ended up healing in a flexed position. It was fairly painful to try and straighten it. I went to an OT who fabricated a simple splint for me and provided me with tendon-gliding exercises. I couldn’t help but to watch all of the fun stuff that was happening in the PT gym though.
Then during my first year of college, I suffered an overuse injury to my Achilles tendon, resulting in swelling and pain with every ankle pump. I went to PT and was provided with appropriate advice on rest and initial exercises to manage the injury. What I was most grateful for was the PT valuing where my ultimate frisbee team was in our season, and working with me to manage the injury so I could continue to play. After the season ended, she then modified my program to include sufficient rest, cross-training, and rebuilding once I was ready to start running again. Again, I found myself loving every visit and watching the other folks in the gym work hard and meet their physical goals. I was considering going into medicine, but I began to research the field of PT and fell in love.
I love that I get to connect with my patients. I get the time to hear their story and help them set their goals. I prescribe exercise to induce specific changes in mobility, strength, and endurance, and I perform manual therapy to decrease their pain and improve their body awareness. I get to follow a person through their course of injury and watch them return to the things they love to do. We aren’t covering up symptoms, we are addressing them. I love that I get to collaborate with other medical professionals as well when a patient needs something more than I can provide. It’s a joy to be a part of a person’s health care team. I love that our services are cost-effective, reducing the burden on the current healthcare industry issues. I love that our services are safe and without scary side-effects. We are the most knowledgeable musculoskeletal experts behind orthopedic surgeons.
I believe in our value and our place in the medical world. I look forward to the day that the public at large knows what we can do and when they #getPT1st.
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Trunk ‘R Treat is an event with over 40 community partners picking a Halloween theme, decorating their trunks and dress themselves in costume. The partners gather and park. The rest is magic. They open their trunks and pass out candy or treats to children who stop by each trunk and trick or treat.