How Physiotherapists Should Respond to COVID-19 Pandemic

The coronavirus disease 2019 (CoViD-19) has become a pandemic, threatening the health of millions of people across the world. As frontline practitioners, physiotherapists are at risk of coming in direct contact with COVID-19 patients. It is important for physiotherapists to understand their role in identifying, containing, mitigating, and treating the symptoms associated with the virus.

 

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Here are some of the key points to help you understand the role of physiotherapists in managing COVID-19-related issues:

  • Recognizing the symptoms of infectious disease
  • Educating and providing patients with appropriate support and timely treatment decisions
  • Advising and treating patients experiencing adverse outcomes, both in the acute phase and in longer-term recovery
  • Treating respiratory health issues caused by the COVID-19 infection and maintaining essential functions, strength, mobility, and flexibility while relieving secondary complications from isolation conditions, including blood clots, muscle wasting, weakness caused by de-conditioning, and other effects on psychological well-being.
  • Providing intervention for mobilization, exercise, and rehabilitation for patients who are at risk of ICU-acquired weakness or with comorbidities causing a significant decline in function.
  • Identify more physical resourcing requiring physiotherapy intervention and reduce the risk of cross-infections. For example, respiratory equipment, mobilization, exercise, and rehabilitation tools and equipment, and storage for equipment.
  • Providing intervention only when there are clinical indicators to reduce exposure of staff to COVID-19 patients. An unnecessary review of isolated COVID-19 patients will have a negative impact on the supply of PPEs.
  • Meet with senior medical staff regularly to identify clinical indications for physiotherapy review in confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients and conduct proper screening according to the standard guidelines.
  • Respiratory physiotherapy intervention in hospital wards or ICUs may be recommended for confirmed or confirmed COVID-19 patients, who developed exudative consolidation mucous hypersecretion and/or difficulty clearing secretions.

Physiotherapy Management Principles

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Respiratory Care

  • Airway clearance techniques (active breathing cycle, positioning, manual and/or ventilator hyperinflation, positive expiratory pressure (PEP) therapy, mechanical insufflation-exsufflation (MI-E)
  • Non-invasive ventilation application (part of airway clearance strategies or in respiratory failure management) and inspiratory positive pressure breathing (IPPB) for patients with fractured ribs
  • Techniques that help facilitate clearance for mucous secretion, including assisted or stimulated cough manoeuvres or airway suctioning.
  • Exercise prescription and mobilization

Mobilization, Exercise, and Rehabilitation

Another important responsibility of physiotherapists is the provision of musculoskeletal/neurological/cardiopulmonary rehabilitation tasks, such as:

  • Active, passive, active-assisted, or resisted joint range of motion exercise that helps boost and/or maintain the integrity of the joint, as well as mobility and muscle strength.
  • Mobilization and rehabilitation, such as bed mobility, sitting balance, sit to stand, upper or lower limb ergometry, exercise programs.

The Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) continues to work hard on building resources and support tools to protect physiotherapists who are potentially exposed to the increasing outbreak of COVID-19. CPA is working around the clock to ensure that physiotherapists receive the necessary resources and support systems, especially those working on the front lines and those whose livelihoods are in jeopardy as patients are cancelling their appointments and forced closure of clinics.

 

What The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Means For SEO

Over the first quarter of 2020, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has disrupted almost every area of our lives. It has created a “new normal”, making people reorder their priorities and make changes to their daily lives. The pandemic has also caused a blow to many businesses that have to roll with the punches thrown by declining economic activities as people change their habits.

SEO plays a key role in helping businesses stay relevant in the time of coronavirus. To further protect their businesses from the effects of the ongoing pandemic, it’s best for business owners and marketers to review their current SEO strategies for the year.

Here are some SEO considerations you need to look at and how you can incorporate them into your marketing strategy in response to the impact of COVID-19.

 

Changing search behaviours

 

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Consumer behaviour and search trends will largely vary at this time, both for essential and non-essential businesses. Pharmacies and grocery stores are more likely to see a surge of search queries on the products and services they offer. Oppositely, a decrease in search interests on brands, products, and services considered non-essential may be observed this time as consumers prioritize their most basic needs. 

Brands should consistently track and analyze data like organic search sessions and conversion rates, making sure to update forecasting and historical reporting to assess the impact of COVID-19 on consumer behaviour. Google Search Console, Google Trends, and your keyword tools will be your best friends during this time. Use them proactively to understand changes in search behaviour and interests based on relevant keywords and topics related to your company and industry.

Below are the important data and analytics to note:

  • Sessions and impressions may decline. But if rankings remain as is, the decrease can be a result of COVID-19’s effect on search interest.
  • Sessions and impressions may remain as is. However, a low conversion may mean that users are still interested in your products or services but are not ready to purchase yet.

 

Limited bandwidth and availability resources

 

During this pandemic, businesses may have limited development resources. Rather than implementing new features in your website, it may be best to prioritize fixing bugs that are directly affecting your site’s performance. Check to see if search engines are indexing, crawling, rendering, and ranking your website to prevent potential issues in the future.

 

Beefed up content strategies

 

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It’s important for businesses to acknowledge the specific effects of COVID-19 to their industry. This way, you can create clear messaging around the disease. If your business is deemed essential or directly affected by COVID-19, you might want to make a dedicated page to capture traffic related to coronavirus and then add links to your website’s key pages.

You can also try producing a series of video content. As people become more active online, they will have plenty of time to watch videos. Consider creating relevant content to capture their attention. Study your SEO insights to gather possible topics for your video content. 

Most importantly, when developing your messaging, keep in mind the importance of social distancing. Consider making content on creating DIY projects around your product/service from which users can derive value while on home quarantine. Avoid using language that runs counter to COVID-19 safety guidelines.

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How COVID-19 Affect Dental Practices

Aside from the serious implications of COVID-19 on human health, the coronavirus also caused a significant impact on almost all business industries in Canada, including dental practices. It has brought uncertainty to dental health professionals. The Public Health Agency in Canada, as well as the provincial and municipal government, recommends temporary closure of dental clinics concerning social distancing protocols rolled out across the nation. The dental industry supports the recommendations made by the Public Health authorities to ensure social distancing. Dentists and other dental health providers understand the importance of taking exceptional measures to minimize the transmission of the virus. That is why dental professionals only offer their services to those with emergency needs.

 

Why Dentistry Is a High-Risk Branch

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The COVID-19 pandemic has gravely affected thousands of Canadian dentists and their patients. Studies reported that the presence of the virus in the saliva of COVID-19 patients, which can be pivotal in human-to-human transmission. Dentists and other dental health providers do not want to become a hotspot for the transmission of the virus, as they may unknowingly provide aerosol-generating dental procedures to infected but not yet diagnosed COVID-19 patients. Inhaling these airborne particles and aerosols during the dental procedure on COVID-19 infected patients puts dentists into direct exposure of the virus. 

 

Should You Pause or Cancel Your SEO Campaign

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With the Public Health Agency in Canada recommending temporary shutdown of dental clinics or revamping dental processes and focus on emergency ones, it may sound sensible to pause your organic dental SEO or digital marketing campaign. 

However, the pandemic is temporary; dropping your SEO campaign would mean missing out on organic searches and falling behind your competitors. Acquiring patients would become more difficult when the industry comes roaring back. Continuing your marketing effort amidst the coronavirus pandemic provides you with a huge advantage over those who do not. 

 

Connecting with Your Patients

Despite the temporary closure of your dental office, there are still various ways you can make an impact by making some extra efforts to your existing and potential patients the high-quality services and value you provide during the COVID-19 crisis. 

 

  • Maintain Your Online Presence – Having a live, active website helps maintain a strong online presence. Find out the potential dental concerns your patients may experience during the COVID-19 lockdown and provide solutions to the problems. Make sure to provide updated contact information and guidance on how you handle patients requiring emergency dental care.

 

  • Be Active on Social Media – With many of your prospective clients that are active on different social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, now is the perfect time to build or maintain your social media presence. Make sure to post relevant content at least once or twice a week to appear in the newsfeeds of your patients. Adding an image or informative video in your content helps boost engagement.

 

  • Start TeleDentistry – Did you know that you can provide virtual consultation to your patients? There are various apps designed to provide teledentistry services, an effective way to keep in contact with your patients when you are unable to provide personal treatment at your dental clinic. It does not only provide patients with peace of mind but also reduces the risk of going out for a simple prescription.

 

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