woman wearing headset

Telehealth and Remote Care

When clients can access few other services, occupational therapy via remote care is a vital link to wellness. 

About Telehealth 

Telehealth refers to using electronic communications to manage a client’s health and wellbeing. OT Works! is delivering remote care as a telehealth service during the COVID-19 outbreak. Remote care is therapy that is: 

  • Provided via phone, email, text messages or video 
  • Live, private and confidential 
  • Guided by the College of Occupational Therapists of BC (COTBC) and the Provincial Health Services Agency (PHSA)

How OT can help with Remote Care

Telehealth allows clients to safely receive the prompt care they need while social distancing is required. Through remote care, our therapists help clients: 

  • Maintain or improve workplace tolerances  
  • Develop a daily structure that simulates their typical (work) day 
  • Create healthy routines 
  • Increase resiliency 
  • Deliver health education 
  • Promote connection with the workplace and decrease isolation 

OT Works! Remote Care Approach 

OT Works! therapists provide a creative healthcare service that develops client-centered solutions that are: 

  • Cost Effective 
  • Customized to optimize outcomes (including remote session length and frequency)  
  • Tailored towards cognitive and emotional gains 
  • Focused on the long-term goals, including Return to Work 
  • Provided with integrity and therapeutic value 

Services Considerations 

The following services are difficult to deliver remotely, yet we have solutions to help: 

  • Home environment – possible with video technology 
  • Objective assessments of range of motion and strength – possible with video technology 
  • Functional assessments (e.g. transfers, stairs, community access) – inferred from client reports, questionnaires, camera observations and medical documentation 
  • Wheelchair or home safety assessment – if urgent, in-person assessments can be considered after completing a client risk assessment and while using personal protective equipment.

Get Started 

All of our therapists at OT Works! are certified with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC) and have additional training in areas such as mental health, brain injury rehabilitation, home safety and chronic pain. 

We’re here for you when you need us.  

E-mail: info@ot-works.com 

Phone: 604.696.1066 ext 1000 

OT Works! is OPEN

OT Works! continues to serve clients and customers during the COVID-19 outbreak. We believe occupational therapy is essential to maintaining the health and wellbeing of the public. OT Works! is adapting to better support everyone – our clients, customers, therapists, staff and our communities – in the most responsible manner possible.

Telehealth and Remote Care

OT Works! is enabled by telehealth. Our occupational therapists can provide remote care services by phone, email, text messages and video. Telehealth can allow live, confidential and safe interactions with an occupational therapist during times social distancing. We have developed protocols and plans that follow guidelines by the College of Occupational Therapists of BC (COTBC) and the Provincial Health Services Agency (PHSA). Our goal is to provide remote therapy through telehealth that is meaningful and appropriate.

We will continue to provide in-person home visits on an urgent basis.

Benefits of Telehealth

Remote care is a vital link to wellness when clients have limited or no access other in-person services. For many of our clients, remote care is the only service available to them after other health providers and rehab team members have closed their doors. Through telehealth, our OTs can provide clients with prompt and personalized care while maintaining social distancing.

Remote care and telehealth can help clients by:

  • Maintain or improve workplace tolerances
  • Develop a daily structure that simulates their typical (work) day
  • Create healthy routines
  • Increase resiliency
  • Deliver health education
  • Promote connection with the workplace and decrease isolation

Occupational therapy is client-centered. Our clients’ remote treatment plans are specific to individual needs and goals. While some rehab goals may not be accessible during times of social isolation (eg. return-to-work), remote care maintains clients’ readiness for rehab upon return to in-person sessions.

Occupational therapists are creative and adaptive. With remote care, our therapists are able to adjust the frequency and duration of sessions to provide appropriate and effective care during our current situation.

Remote OT allows us all to socially distance ourselves and prevent the spread of disease while still connecting, progressing on goals and maintaining well-being.

Service Areas

OT Works! continues to serve the following areas :

  • Metro Vancouver
  • Fraser Valley
  • Sea-to-Sky (Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton)
  • Vancouver Island

With telehealth, our occupational therapists can also assist clients outside of these geographic areas. Contact us to learn more.

Contact Us

All of our therapists at OT Works! are certified with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC) and have additional training in areas such as mental health, brain injury rehabilitation, home safety and chronic pain.

We’re here for you when you need us.

E-mail: info@ot-works.com

Phone: 604.696.1066 ext 1000

Three women sitting at cafe booth. Two of the women high five.

A Quick Guide to Occupational Therapy Services: After A Motor Vehicle Accident

Occupational Therapy For Your ICBC Claim

After a motor vehicle accident, occupational therapy helps clients implement and maintain a sense of independence and balance in life. Occupational therapists focus on how clients participate in daily activities relative to their surroundings. They collaborate with their clients to help them function safely and effectively at home, work and in the community.  Community OT is flexible and uses individualized, goal-oriented approaches in rehabilitation and health management.  

When to Refer or Contact an OT

When an individual is injured in a motor vehicle accident in British Columbia, they are eligible to receive OT services under Part 7 Benefits.  Usually ICBC requires a referral from a healthcare practictioner for occupational therapy in order to authorize funding.  A doctor may recommend OT services if a client:

  • Has not returned to work, school, volunteering or other pre-accident roles.
  • Is struggling to care for themselves, their family or their home.
  • Is still recovering slowly or not at all, despite other treatments.

Assessment

Once we receive a referral, we confirm with ICBC to ensure that funding is available.  An OT Works! therapist can then reach out to the client to set up an initial assessment.  During the first appointment, the OT will:

  • Gain an understanding of the client’s pre-injury status.
  • Observe the client doing functional tasks in their real environment(s), as well as standardized testing.  
  • Discuss a collaborative plan for treatment (if needed).

The therapist then provides a comprehensive report to ICBC and other healthcare providers involved in the client’s care.  If necessary, further OT treatment may be recommended.

Throughout the process, OT Works! therapists help our clients be safe and comfortable.  We encourage our clients to ask questions and take breaks when needed.

Hospital Discharge Program

When ICBC requests an OT assessment through the Hospital Discharge Program, occupational therapists help create a safe and timely transition to home for clients who have been hospitalized after their accident. Occupational therapists assess the need for adaptive equipment, home modifications or home support services such as cleaning services or a care aide’s support.

Longer-Term Care

OT Works! also helps ICBC clients who have not been hospitalized or who have been recovering for a longer period of time by the time of the referral. The therapist must determine if continuous OT treatment is necessary to enable a successful recovery. The assessment usually takes place at a client’s home or their workplace (e.g. job site visits, ergo assessments).

Treatment

If on-going occupational therapy is determined to be beneficial, then an OT will continue with the client and support their recovery with goal planning, regular appointments and support. Rehabilitation plans are customized for the client’s individual needs and goals.  Here are some examples of the services our clients receive and the activities involved:

  • Gradual Return-to-Work Planning and Monitoring helps people ease back into their work roles after time-off due to injuries.  OTs can provide on- and off-site coaching through education, strategies and coping tools.  They organize appropriate assistive and ergonomic equipment and advocate for return to work options with the client’s employer.
  • Adaptive Equipment and Mobility Aids are put in place to ensure safety at home and in the community.  Examples include adding a ramp or stair lift to navigate multilevel homes or assessing the safety and comfort of wheelchairs for those requiring assistance moving around.
  • Exposure Therapy addresses a client’s anxiety, fear and discomfort so that they can actively engage in their community and life again.  It is a gradual, step-by-step process that involves safe, accompanied exposure to locations or situations that trigger a client’s anxiety.
  • Concussion Management helps people address the symptoms associated with impacts to the head.  Occupational therapists provide education about what a typical recovery looks like.  They help clients stay active after a concussion without overdoing it and determine strategies to work around the challenges they face.
  • The Progressive Goal Attainment Program is an evidence-based program that reduces the barriers of disability by specifically targeting the psychological and social obstacles clients face.  Goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic & relevant and time-based.  We have several therapists that are certified to provide PGAP services.

Occupational therapists also provide a number of other services. Learn more here.

Case Studies: Successful Return to Work & Life

Theses three real-life case studies show the difference occupational therapy can make at various times in the recovery process after a motor-vehicle accident.

Get Started with an OT

All of our therapists at OT Works! are certified with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC) and have additional training in areas such as mental health, brain injury rehabilitation, home safety and chronic pain.

If you or someone you know could benefit from occupational therapy after a motor vehicle accident, contact us today!  We can help you acquire funding from ICBC and answer any questions you may have.

Email:  referrals@ot-works.com

Phone:  604.696.1066 ext. 1000. 

ICBC Webpage: https://www.ot-works.com/services/ot-and-icbc-recovery/

OT and ICBC rehab: Emma’s Drive to Explore

When ICBC asked OT Works! for help, Emma was avoiding driving.  Her motor vehicle accident (MVA) increased her anxiety and made time management, memory and attention difficult for her.  With her OT, Emma learned to better manage her concussion symptoms and other pain.  Equipped with evidence-based strategies, she reconnected with the friends and adventures that mattered to her most.

OT Involvement

Referral: 90+ days after the accident

Services:

  • Activation
  • Cognitive Rehab
  • Driving in the Community
  • Return to Work Planning
  • Return to Work Monitoring and Support

Introducing Emma

Age: 35

Occupation: Secretarial Administrator

Injuries:  Concussion; anxiety; soft tissue Injuries to the back, neck and shoulder.

How OT Helped

Emma relies on driving to get to work and hang out with friends.  As a result of her motor vehicle accident, her anxiety increased and she took time off work.  She was afraid to be behind the wheel again and so avoided driving.  She struggled to manage the daily activities in her life and found that recalling and retaining memories were suddenly difficult for her. 

Nicole Chan (OT) and Aman focused on cognitive rehabilitation in order to encourage Emma to reconnect with her pre-accident activities.  They developed calming techniques, followed checklists and used memory aids.  Nicole also rode as a passenger in Emma’s car while they built up Emma’s confidence as a driver.  With a return-to-work plan, developed collaboratively, Emma returned to work full-time.  At the time of her discharge, she was already driving her friends on local trips and exploring what our neighbourhoods have to offer.

“Thanks to Nicole and her encouragement and strategies, [I] feel more comfortable and confident driving on the road after my car accidents.”

Emma (OT Works! client)

Contact Us

All of our OTs are university-trained and certified by the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC).  Many of our OTs have additional training in physical OT treatment, mental health, and goal-planning.

Contact us today if you or someone you know could benefit from an OT, or have any questions about how an OT can help after an MVA.

Email:  referrals@ot-works.com

Phone:  604.696.1066 ext. 1000

Jaclyn (white shirt, long brown hair), Pamela (green shirt, short grey hair), Nicole (black shirt, long brown hair)

Meet Jaclyn Forsythe & Nicole Chan

Welcome Jaclyn Forsythe and Nicole Chan to the OT Works! team. They provide community OT services helping clients with musculoskeletal and orthopaedic injuries as well as mental health issues and mixed diagnoses. They work with clients following motor vehicle accidents and workplace injuries with a focus function and return-to-work.

Nicole is passionate about community-based rehabilitation. She meets her clients where they are at in their recovery and her treatment solutions are insightful, creative and individualized.

Jaclyn organizes and simplifies complex situations to produce meaningful results. She has experience with chronic pain with a focus on return-to-function and return-to-work.

Like all of our therapists, Nicole and Jaclyn, are full registrants and in good standing with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC).

Learn More: