Sign In
HomeNewsVirtual physiotherapy treatment

Virtual physiotherapy treatment

When Rhonda’s bad fall led her to the emergency department at Royal North Shore Hospital, she underwent a full hip replacement and spent six days recovering.

On the afternoon of her discharge, she received an SMS telling her she had her first virtual physiotherapy appointment at 10 a.m. the next day.

Rhonda said she was happy to be treated at home. “I didn’t want to go to a hospital again,” she said.

She had six online sessions via her mobile phone with Jason Levy, a physiotherapist with the Northern Sydney Local Healthcare District’s Virtual Care Service (NS VCS), which supports people needing urgent and acute care at home. 

During her treatment period, Rhonda was sent exercises each week, and Jason would check if she was doing them correctly. 

Jason said seeing a patient in their home — even if it is via a screen — gives him a holistic perspective. “You can see them in their best environment.”
Jason added that virtual physiotherapy also allows the service to reach people who have issues getting to a clinic.

He is used to people being confused about him being a “hands-off” physiotherapist. “When I say to people, I’m a virtual physiotherapist, they are like, ‘How does that work?’”

Across the board, NSLHD clinics are increasingly using virtual care to look after patients in their homes —whether it be on the phone or via video.

Patients like Rhonda report a raft of positive experiences with virtual care. A 2022/2023 district-wide survey found an approval rating of over 95 per cent. 

Respondents report a range of benefits, including convenience (73%), saving time (63%) and ease of own surroundings (47%). The district is aiming to have one in three non-admitted patients treated virtually.


What others found interesting…