When is the last time you saw a healthcare provider, for a full hour, who actually LISTENED to what you had to say? Unfortunately the healthcare model has shifted over the years and people seek professional help only to spend a few measly minutes with their doctor. In fact, 11 SECONDS is the average time patients have to explain the reasons for their visit before physicians interrupt, according to a recent study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine1. The typical outpatient PT setting is becoming that way, where you may only spend 10-20 minutes with the actual therapist. You are then working with potentially unqualified techs/aids who guide you through exercises you can simply do on your own. I know, because I ran and operated an outpatient clinic for over 2 years. There was a brief time where I could spend high quality care with each patient but soon the demands kept coming in from corporate to get more patients in and improve the “numbers”.
No patient should be seen as a number or as a body part. People seek professional help and all too often they receive underwhelming treatment. Most therapists working for a corporate outpatient clinic have to juggle 15-25 patients per day. They are given incentives to schedule patients 3x per week (regardless of diagnosis) and get as many in the door as they can in order to make the clinic, and corporation, more profitable. There are clinics that schedule patients every 15 minutes under the care of a single therapist. That speaks volumes to how much they value each patient. This can impact your treatment as without the attention of the therapist you will miss out on exercise/form corrections that can enhance your recovery and less time spent able to teach you about your injury and how to manage it more effectively on your own. Poor execution of exercises can lead to further injury and delayed progress. You will undoubtedly have better results when a skilled doctor of physical therapy provides hands on, one on one treatment for the entire treatment session and has the time to help empower you to deal with the injury yourself rather than become reliant on seeing someone for it. It is disheartening to see that low quality care is becoming the standard of care in our society.
At Streamline Performance Physical Therapy I have the opportunity to work one on one with every single patient for the duration of each treatment session. I get to truly listen to the patient, thoroughly examine them and help get them back to living a life without limitations. This enables the patient to get high quality care and worry less about finding the time for appointments 3x per week. Less time off work, less time finding a sitter for your kids, and increased results. We want to empower the patient to FIX their problem through education of WHY they are experiencing pain/limitations. Each patient receives an individualized treatment plan and is provided with a home program in order for the patient to have the tools necessary to continue progress independently. Patients shouldn’t have to feel the need to keep going to therapy multiple times per week for months at a time in order to get better. We are starting to see a trend towards physical therapists/healthcare professionals leaving the corporate clinics and adopting this model. I strive to be a driving force of change to enhance the physical therapy profession and give every patient the high quality of care/attention that they deserve.
1) Ospina NS, et al. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2019;34:36-40