Mobility is a key factor in gaining independence after a debilitating illness or injury. At Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center, the seating and mobility clinic helps patients find, try and buy the best equipment for their needs. Learn about this specialty clinic from Michele Lloyd, a physical therapist who leads the clinic.
Tell us a little bit about the program. What’s the process?
At a patient’s initial appointment at the seating and mobility clinic, the patient, their family, the vendor and myself meet and start with a thorough interview where we collect a patient’s medical history, conduct a physical assessment, evaluate the patient’s home and transportation accessibility and more. Based on these assessments, we create an individualized treatment plan for each patient.
After we come up with our plan of action, we actually simulate the equipment and processes that we suggest so the patient knows exactly what they are ordering. This is pretty unusual for the wheelchair business and one of the key factors that sets our clinic apart from others. Our goal is to truly partner with the patient to help achieve their goals.
Who’s eligible for the program?
Qualified patients will receive a referral from their physician to the seating and mobility clinic. Once I receive the referral, I contact the patient and schedule a consultation with them and their preferred vendor.
What makes this program unique?
The seating and mobility clinic at Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center is unique because we treat patients of all ages, all diagnoses and all levels of ability. We address the most complex conditions and work hard to ensure the best for our patients. We have people come from all over the region to be treated in this clinic.
I genuinely care about each of our patients in the clinic. I will be there to support them in any way I can including through navigating insurance claims and paperwork to following up about their son or daughter’s basketball game. There’s continuous support at the clinic that you won’t find anywhere else.
What COVID-19 adjustments had to be made at the clinic?
The pandemic definitely caused a shift in mindset for me. As a clinician, I’m so used to touching patients or being in person, so it’s been a real adjustment to follow proper precautions to prevent spreading the virus. Our vendors have also been extremely understanding during this time as we all work toward safely providing patients the best equipment and supplies out there.
We have utilized telehealth services in the clinic by having the vendor travel to a patient’s home to conduct the assessments there rather than coming into the hospital. When the vendor is with the patient, they call or video me here so we can all consult simultaneously to conduct the full assessment. This has been really beneficial to us because it helps connect people who can’t travel to Knoxville with the clinic and services they need and allows us to reach a more rural population.