Crystal Ball Is Cloudy, But Our Future Vision Is Clear

The pandemic hasn’t changed the commitment of Community Physicians’ (CP) team to providing quality care to our patients. However, as CP’s Bader Almoshelli, MD, said in a recent article in Provider magazine, “We’ve had to be creative about alternative modalities, for instance, to address pain. We’re working with physical therapists and other team members to devise out-of-the-box ideas that work.” He further observed, “Communication and education have been key. The pandemic is on the news every night, but people need to know what we are doing, how, and why to keep people safe and as functional, mobile, and pain-free as possible.”

The practitioners at CP have put safety first, while continuing to help patients make progress on their rehabilitation and other care goals. “One thing we’ve done is coordinate and have dedicated COVID therapists to prevent cross-contamination,” CP’s Arif Hussain, DO, said. “Mobile equipment such as free weights and mobile bike pedals, have become the norm for strengthening and mobility. These aren’t a permanent replacement but a good temporary solution.”

CP has made extensive and excellent use of telemedicine to provide care during the pandemic. Moving forward, said Dr. Hussain, “I can see this becoming a regular part of the overall treatment strategy to some degree. Hands-on care is always ideal, but there are situations—such as the pandemic—for which telemedicine is an important tool. “

Of course, helping to ensuring the best possible, most patient-centered outcomes is essential; and Dr. Hussain said, “Motivation is a critical part of our care, and that can be challenging during a situation such as a pandemic. Nonetheless, we recognize that each individual is spurred by something different, and we have find out what this is and use it to motivate them.” However, he stressed, it is important that goals be realistic. For instance, he said, “One person may have a goal of walking again, but you know that the possibility of this is low and you can’t pander to their unrealistic expectations. But you can develop more practical short-term goals and use their personal motivation to keep them focused.”

These have been scary times, Dr. Hussain said, “We need to be leaders in this pandemic. We recognize the seriousness of the circumstance, but we have to be there for our patients and be supportive of each other. Each member of the team is important. We need physicians and other practitioners who are willing and capable to engage in this world and take on the responsibility to provide care and keep our patients safe. We have made our goal to support the patients and facilities we work with. We are ready to jump in, and we have the experience to deal with whatever the future brings.”

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