UK Pediatric Therapies at Child Development Center of the Bluegrass (CDCB) is a clinical service within the UK College of Health Sciences that offers pediatric occupational, physical, and speech therapies. While many health care facilities temporarily closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, their team quickly adapted models of care to provide telehealth services since the beginning of the pandemic.
UK Pediatric Therapies’ smooth transition speaks to the merits and preparedness of their team. Before the pandemic started, therapists were already looking at ways to incorporate telehealth into their practice.
“We serve many children who do not live in close proximity to Lexington and who live in rural areas,” said Angela Folczyk, OT, therapy director for UK Pediatric Therapies at CDCB. “Using telehealth was already something we were looking at. When the pandemic hit, the center was able to adopt a telehealth model quickly and efficiently so we could maintain continuity of care.”
Jessica Raspen, PT, knew the UK Pediatric Therapies team would need to be creative to maintain care that is normally delivered hands-on.
“As a physical therapist, I was very nervous about moving completely to telehealth,” she said. “I was pleasantly surprised and proud of my clients and caregivers. They stepped up and took direction well, practicing with their children even when the hand positioning wasn’t perfect or the child was not receptive.”
According to Kelsey Oyler, OT, the success of the transition was due to the collaboration and cooperation between all therapists. “We shared ideas and resources and supported one another to provide quality care to the families we serve,” she said. “All of my families were extremely understanding. We all learned together.”
“Telehealth practice has given me personal insight into home life for many of my families,” said Nicole Hoskins, OT. “This helped me to better serve them and meet needs I don’t always see firsthand in the clinical setting.”
Ultimately, Folczyk believes the telehealth model has greatly benefitted their clients. “Telehealth has empowered parents and increased family confidence levels and their ability to participate in therapies,” she said.
UK Pediatric Therapies at CDCB recently began providing in person care for families who prefer it. They will continue to provide telehealth services and offer safe and effective ways to serve the community.