College Blog 

In the spirit of transparency, we encourage open debate and constructive criticism via comments. For this to be effective, comments need to remain professional and respectful. Comments will be reviewed and posts that include personal attacks, unfounded allegations, unverified facts, product pitches, or profanity will not be published. 

Contact the College
Watch our Videos

  • Tele-rehabilitation – Another Tool in Your Toolkit

    Jan 23, 2019

    By: College Practice Advisor

    What is tele-rehabilitation?

    With the assistance of technology, as a practice advisor I have the good fortune of being able to work remotely from my home office. As technology becomes more advanced and a growing part of our everyday lives, tele-rehabilitation is a mode of practice that more physiotherapists are considering.

    Tele-rehabilitation is the provision of physiotherapy services from a distance and involves communication with a patient who is remotely located from the primary physiotherapist providing service.

    It incorporates the use of technology such as video conferencing, email, apps, web-based communication or wearable technology.

    When is an appropriate time to choose tele-rehabilitation over an in-person interaction?

    Tele-rehabilitation may be used to facilitate physiotherapy care by delivering service not otherwise available without compromising care or regulatory accountability, such as for patients located in remote areas where physiotherapy services are not readily available. Imagine the possibilities for improved patient care by a physiotherapist who works in Northern Ontario, limited by travelling great distances to reach patients, who could then treat eight patients in a day rather than two or three. 

    There are a few things you should consider before incorporating tele-rehabilitation into your practice. First and foremost, as a physiotherapist you have an accountability to make sure your decisions are always in the patient’s best interest and aligned with your patient’s expectations of care.

    What are the special considerations for tele-rehabilitation?

    It goes without saying that physiotherapists must comply with all regulatory requirements and deliver the same safe and effective care… but what else should you consider?

    You must decide if tele-rehabilitation is the most appropriate and available way to deliver care. Is an in-person, hands on examination needed to complete the assessment and determine a clinical analysis, treatment goals and plan? Will the patient be safe under the care of the physiotherapist within the context of their home or work environment? Are there physical, cognitive or sensory deficits that may make the delivery of physiotherapy care unsafe or ineffective? Can someone be available to assist the patient if needed at their location? How will you protect the safety of your patient’s personal health information?  Are you competent in the use of the technology, its capabilities and its limitations? If you are providing physiotherapy care in another province you must understand and comply with their privacy rules and be registered to practice in that jurisdiction.

    Additionally, you should have a plan in place to deal with potential adverse events such as patient medical emergencies, failure of the communication technology or environmental hazards. 

    And, don’t forget about consent!  You must have a discussion with the patient and provide all the information they would need to make an informed decision about their care. Be sure to include things like: the difference between in-person and tele-rehabilitation services including options to receive in-person care, the risks to the privacy of their health information and any safeguards in place to reduce these risks. 

    For more information, please give the Practice Advice team a call at 1-800-583-5885 (ext. 241) or email advice@collegept.org. We are available to chat with you about the ins and outs of tele-rehabilitation and answer any questions you may have. 

    The Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators also has several great resources about tele-rehabilitation (including across provincial borders) in practice on their website.

    Tele-rehabilitation in Physiotherapy

    Full story
    • Ontario
    • communities
    • remote
    • physiotherapist
    • Northern Ontario
    • Consent
    • wearable
    • skype
    • internet
    • videoconference
    • technology
    • out of province
    • physiotherapy
    • cross border
    • cross-border
    • telerehabilitation
    • tele-rehabilitation
  • Privacy Laws: The Times They Are A-Changin’

    Dec 11, 2018
    Full story
    • Health Information Custodian
    • HIC
    • PIPEDA
    • PHIPA
    • technology
    • patient information
    • security
    • privacy law
    • privacy breach
    • privacy
  • Legalizing Cannabis: What Does it Mean for Physiotherapists?

    Nov 13, 2018
    Full story
    • treatment
    • Consent
    • physiotherapy
    • legalization
    • cannabis
    • blog
  • Supervising Physiotherapy Residents: An Important and Rewarding Role

    Oct 19, 2018
    Peter Ruttan, registered physiotherapist and Investigator at the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario, blogs about the responsibilities of a Practice Supervisor when working with Physiotherapy Residents.
    Full story
    • physiotherapist
    • investigator
    • Peter Ruttan
    • Ontario
    • College of Physiotherapists
    • physiotherapy residents
    • supervision
    • practice supervisor
  • What I Learned from the College: Top Tips for New Physiotherapists

    Sep 17, 2018
    Guest blogger and PT student Ian Winningham shares what he learned during his clinical placement at the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario.
    Full story
    • record keeping
    • accounts
    • billing
    • fees
    • physiotherapist
    • student
    • blog
  • What’s Your Piece of #MeToo?

    Aug 23, 2018
    A blog from the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario's Registrar, Shenda Tanchak, discussing the importance of boundaries between physiotherapists and patients, in the wake of the Me Too movement.
    Full story
    • me too
    • patient
    • physiotherapist
    • Boundaries
  • Creating a Discussion: More than Just a Checked Box

    Jul 24, 2018
    Elizabeth Leung, a physiotherapy student who is doing a placement at the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario, blogs about the importance of consent in physiotherapy practice.
    Full story
    • student
    • physiotherapy
    • Consent
  • Delisted—Make Sure it Doesn’t Happen to You

    May 24, 2018
    A blog by Fiona Campbell, Senior Physiotherapy Advisor at the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario, explaining how and when a physiotherapist may be delisted by an insurance company.
    Full story
    • Delisted
    • Delisting
    • Abuse
    • physiotherapist
    • Billing Number
    • billing
    • Insurance Fraud
  • A Bedtime Story

    Apr 27, 2018
    Full story
    • billing
    • assistant
    • physiotherapist assistant
    • PTA
    • Fraud
    • insurance
    • massage therapist
  • Who Runs the College Anyway?

    Mar 02, 2018
    Full story

Contact the Practice Advisor

Free and anonymous counsel for PTs, patients, & the public. Learn More 

practiceadvice@collegept.org
416-591-3828 ext. 241
1-800-583-5885 ext. 241