As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Cara Konlian, MSPT, CEO, of Aquacare Physical Therapy and the Milford Lifestyle Fitness Center wants the Milford community to know that they have expanded their ability to fight not only COVID-19 but also other viruses or bacteria that could make people ill. To protect clients using their facility, Aquacare Physical Therapy has invested in a Clorox 260 Electrostatic sprayer to disinfect all our facilities daily.
“We have taken many different steps to protect our patrons against illnesses, including COVID,” Konlian said. “Through diligent investigation and research, we wanted to determine the safest way to disinfect surfaces. Typical foggers and other types of machinery being used to protect people from COVID are less effective in immediately killing bacteria/viruses. However, the Clorox 360 Electrostatic Sprayer has been proven to be the best way to eliminate all bacteria and represents or long-term strategy in protecting our patients and staff, not only from COVID-19, but other potentially hazard viruses causing illnesses that typically occur during the flu season.”
Konlian explained that the machine, which is significantly more expensive than other machines of its type, uses a nozzle that allows for the disinfectant to adhere to surfaces, killing 99.9 percent of bacteria in five seconds. The disinfectant is so safe that the machine could be used while people are in the facility, Konlian explained. However, it is used at the end of the day when all clients are gone. At that time, staff sprays every surface of the facility, including treatment rooms, bathrooms, and all gym/therapy equipment.
“This is not the same system you see used in churches or other locations,” Konlian said. “It offers a higher level of protection than other methods. We are using it in the treatment rooms as well as the gyms to keep our clientele as safe as possible.”
The Clorox 360 Electrostatic Sprayer is just one additional step Aquacare Physical Therapy is taking to protect their clients. Because the facility is large, it is easier for staff to control social distancing. They have adjusted schedules so that higher-risk patrons are in the facility when it is the least busy.
“We are also using Telehealth as an option for treatment,” Konlian said. “Prior to the pandemic, Telehealth was not covered by insurances for physical therapy. However during the COVID pandemic ongoing, the rules were changed so that physical therapists can now provide Telehealth. We are finding that Telehealth is helpful in educating our patients in self- treatment strategies. Many times, clients will stop doing their exercises at home, because they do not have the proper equipment. Through Telehealth, we can show them what they can independently do at home to help them improve. It has helped our therapists teach self-treatment strategies for long-term management .”
Konlian explained that clients can access telehealth services using a computer or tablet, however Telehealth can be just as effective through use of a smartphone.
“Using a phone allows them to direct the camera to the area we are working on, like a knee or a foot,” Konlian said. “We can see that they are actually doing the exercises properly. If a client only has a flip phone or no access to the internet, we can do telephone appointments as well, although we do prefer telehealth with video whenever possible. Right now, Telehealth services are also covered by most insurances for physical therapy .”
In addition to protecting clients, Konlian stated that Aquacare is also focused on protecting their staff from illness as well. The center is currently providing access for all staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Although it is not mandatory for their staff, 90 to 95 percent of staff members are planning to obtain the vaccine.
“We want to remind everyone that they do not need a physician’s referral for the initial consultation,” Konlian said. “Some of our clients choose an in-person visit first and then do telehealth from that point on. We are doing everything we can to work with clients at their comfort levels.”
Masks are always required in the facility. For clients who may have breathing issues that make it difficult for them to undergo therapy or exercise with a mask on, private treatment rooms are used. Everyone who enters the facility is required to undergo a temperature check and sanitize their hands. Aquacare follow a “No Germs In, No Germs Out Policy”.
“This will continue long after the pandemic is over,’ Konlian said. “Although we may not have to always wear masks, I will not be surprised if we utilize masks as a long-term strategy for people presenting with minor illness symptoms like coughing and sneezing. The use of the Clorox 360 Electrostatic Sprayer will also continue long after the pandemic. One of the things COVID has taught us is that, even in medical facilities, in the past, we may not have been doing a thorough job of sanitizing surfaces. We now see that this is a critical part of not only protecting our patients, but our staff as well. We are committed to staying aggressive to prevent illness like this in the future. It will be interesting ascertain if the rates of other illnesses also decline after this, like colds and flu, since we are so much more aware of how easy it is to spread illness among us.”
To schedule a free consultation or an evaluation with one of our physical therapist or fitness experts, please call 302 491-4196. Feel free to visit our website at www.aquacarephysicaltherapy.com or www.milforddefitness.com.