Telehealth Speeds Veterans’ Access to Physical Therapy

Women with blond hair smiles on the screen of a computer

The VA Phoenix Medical Center recently launched a new telehealth physical therapy (PT) clinic as part of Veterans’ post-op care plans after total knee replacements. The innovative program helps Veterans begin outpatient physical therapy at home within a week of surgery.

“Timely access to physical therapy is so important to get Veterans moving in a healthy pattern,” said Christina Crawford, telehealth coordinator. “Because sometimes, after surgery, we’re hesitant to move or we’re nervous.”

Crawford, a board-certified clinical specialist in geriatric physical therapy, noticed many Veterans were not starting outpatient physical therapy within the recommended 21 days after surgery. So, she tapped into her experience with the Rural Veterans TeleRehabilitation Initiative to develop the Phoenix telehealth PT clinic. It gives Veterans at-home access to physical therapy care by using VA Video Connect.

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