We hope you continue to remain healthy and safe during this unprecedented time period and wanted to share some additional updates in regard to our planned future activities.
On March 16th, following initial recommendations by Governor Wolf, our company took unprecedented action to close all of our physical therapy clinics for a two week period, as there was no clear guidance at that time from state health or government authorities as how best to operate. Since that time, Governor Wolf and State Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine have developed Industry Operations Guidance for all businesses in the State of Pennsylvania, which is available for the public to view and a link to this document is available on our website in our COVID-19 Information section.
Under the Industry Guidance, Excel Physical Therapy, as an Outpatient Care Center, has been deemed an essential service and may continue physical operations. Over the course of 30 years in which our company has been in business, we have treated almost 100,000 patients and while there is a segment of our patient population who may benefit from a TeleHealth solution, there exists many patients who suffer in pain and require manual therapy or stimulation, which can only be performed in a clinic setting in order for them to achieve their recovery goals. Left untreated, this patient population risks going to urgent cares and hospital emergency rooms to seek pain relief, which is an added burden to our health systems at the present time. In addition, this patient population may be prescribed opioids to temporarily relive their pain, which can lead to dependency and other ailments. Our decision to reopen must balance the need to assist all of our patients, and to that effect, we are offering both a Telehealth and in clinic option for patients to pursue. While we have been deemed an essential service in order to remain open, we choose to do so only by implementing precautionary measures at each of our clinics, which not only meet, but exceed the recommendations and guidelines of both OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control).
To that effect, we are planning to re-open our 33 clinics on Monday, March 30, 2020 and will resume in clinic services, as well as offer TeleHealth operations to accommodate both new and existing patients. In order to ensure a healthy and safe workplace environment for all patients and employees, it is necessary for us to begin to prepare now for this implementation. We realize that as this serious situation evolves, we will continue to follow appropriate guidance from the CDC, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and Governor Wolf, as well as directives from local governments. We will share additional communications as we proceed, as well as when our normal operations resume, but wanted to convey some of the precautionary efforts we are undertaking to assure our patient’s safety:
- All staff will be screened prior to entering the clinic daily (temperature and symptom screening)
- All patients will be screened prior to each clinic visit. A patient screening station will be established at each of our clinics to assess for risk of contact exposure or symptoms prior to entry. Should we identify any risk, the appointment will be rescheduled.
- Each physical therapist will only schedule 1 in clinic patient per hour.
- Only half of our staff will be in the clinic at one time, with no overlap in schedules
- Each physical therapist will be required to utilize Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) while treating patients
- All equipment, common areas, entry and exit doors and access areas will be sanitized hourly
- All highly touched items (coffee, food, magazines) will be removed from the waiting area
- Community water stations will be closed and considered off limits
- Any patient over the age of 65, or those with a compromised immune system or other high risk ailment, will be encouraged to postpone in-clinic treatments and may utilize TeleHealth, if they choose.
- Patient waiting areas will have chairs separated, as will the gym area, so as to continue to maintain the practice of physical distance
- All therapeutic areas will continue to be sanitized before, during and after each patient
As a company, we are committed to ensuring optimal health for all of our patients and want to remain the chosen destination for physical therapy treatment. This is an extremely challenging time for all of us, and we want to remain available to service our community in the safest way possible.
Please feel free to contact us at [email protected] or via our Excel hotline at 866-883-9235, or call any of our clinics should you have any questions, or if we can be of further assistance. Our representatives are currently available to assist in scheduling an appointment, or answering any additional concerns. We look forward to continuing to assist our patients in their recovery and thank you for your continued trust.
Kristin Mullen, CEO
Excel Physical Therapy