COVID-19: Let’s Prepare for the Future – NOW!

April 15, 2020

By Cathy J Leer, PT, MBA

Are you sick of the news like I am? I believe that we are in week 16, and everywhere you look, it’s all about the COVID-19 pandemic. Certainly one can’t deny that it has turned the world upside down, and we will forever be changed because of it, but I for one am ready to hear about plans for the future and what we, as business men and women, are preparing to do to help in the financial recovery of this fine nation and the world. It’s not just about the physical aspect. Our financial, mental, and general well-being are at stake as well.

Let’s Change the Conversation

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that we should be insulated from the warnings and advice, or that it’s not important to hear about the seriousness of this crisis. I don’t want to hear about the same doom and gloom, day in and day out. I’m sick and tired of the finger pointing.

What I DO want to hear about is HOW we are going to pull up our big boy and girl panties and get on with the things that make this nation great. I want to hear about grass root solutions and innovative programs that will become the “new norm”. I want to see and hear that the life blood of this country, independent small businesses, will be ready to hit the ground running when those in the front lines feel that it is safe to open up the country again.

Despite the fact that the business that I have devoted the last 30 years of my life to has virtually shut down to business as we knew it, and that I have furloughed my entire staff, we as a team continue to provide services to our patients, albeit in ways that are not the norm. Telemedicine, abbreviated workdays, the wearing of PPE including face masks, and the hypervigilance of sanitizing and disinfecting every surface between patients. But that is not enough! If we are to fully recover, we must be prepared for what will become, what many are calling, the new norm.

I’ve personally been hard at work keeping abreast of the stimulus and relief packages that are available to small businesses so that Mission One on my agenda can become a reality… getting my employees back to work full time. That should be the goal of all small business owners. Consumer spending will not be a reality without getting our workers off of unemployment and back on payroll. It’s one of the only ways that the economy will recover.

I know that it will take a long time to achieve a pre-pandemic level of patient activity at FPTS. It will take time for normal healthcare activities to resume and for our referral partners to get back to full speed. My therapists won’t be seeing the same number of patients that they had been seeing, and our billable services will take months to cover payroll, but that is not going to stop me from bringing them back and putting my amazing team back together again.

Withstanding the physical distancing, job loss, financial hardship, mental anguish, and COVID-19 related illness during the last several weeks changes our pre-pandemic perspective. By sharing ideas and experiences we can develop new programs and services to the challenges we face.

Let’s Plan for Tomorrow Today

In physical therapy, I believe people want to hear more about what new techniques and programs can help them with their health. Some of the issues that FPTS is working on to be better prepared for your needs when we are together again include:

  • Medical collaboration and community outreach development
  • Improving the delivery of telemedicine so that it can continue to be a viable and accepted means of providing treatment to those that otherwise wouldn’t be able to receive in-office face-to-face care.
  • New materials and guides for patient education
  • Individualized and group exercise programs
  • Webinars and on-demand resources for physical therapy and related treatment approaches

What about you and your industry? Regardless of the type of business that you have or you are in, or whether employees continue to work from home or in an office, don’t you want to hear and read about how employers are going to mobilize their work force? Or, how they will embrace social engagement while maintaining physical distancing. How they will take advantage of this time to have their workers think outside the box and come up with new ideas and innovative ways to deliver goods and services.

In a nutshell, I want to hear and read about how we are going to be ready to take back our world and come back wiser and stronger than ever before. That’s what I wish for. That’s what I want to read about and listen to. If you have an idea, a service, and area of interest that you would like to see developed or offered at Family Physical Therapy Services, I want to hear from you! Contact me personally at: cjleer@familyptservices.com or call 603.644.8334×104

 

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