Celebrating one year of IRG On-Demand home PT!
Published - Mar 10, 2021
IRG and Luna PT are celebrating one year of coming together to deliver home physical therapy with IRG On-Demand!
When Kris Duggan, CEO of Luna, first met with IRG’s president & CEO, Shannon O’Kelley, MPT, it was an immediate connection. IRG’s reach and locations would be a great compliment to Luna’s innovative approach to therapy. There was a great need for patients to have access to high-quality outpatient PT, and in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for convenience and safety was paramount.
Mr. O’Kelley describes why they started this ambitious program. “Here at IRG, we have always prided ourselves on being innovative and forward thinkers, particularly when it comes to convenient and effective delivery of healthcare to our patients. When we had an opportunity to develop and create IRG On-Demand services, we were confident that it would be well received with our patients and our communities.”
Home health is a well-known service, but IRG On-Demand outpatient physical therapy is different from typical home health care. Home health is traditionally reserved for patients who are recovering from more severe illness or injury. Outpatient PT is focused on musculoskeletal therapy that helps with everything from post-operative care to back pain to fall prevention.
Since IRG partnered with Luna in March of 2020, they have seen over 1,300 in-home visits and served 125 individuals.
The program’s PT coordinator and On-Demand therapist, Dr. Holli O’Kelley, PT, says that her favorite part of caring for patients at home is the level of familiarity. For one patient who has children at home, these sessions can become exciting and adventurous.
Dr. O’Kelley describes, “When I arrive to someone's home and realize they have three young kids running around and need to be able to multitask, I prescribe exercises differently than I might do in a clinic without that full picture. It gives me an immediate picture of what their life is like and what resources they have.”
Beyond being able to help therapeutically, she also says that she is often treated as a houseguest. “It is both humbling and rewarding. I have been offered freshly baked cookies, learned a lot about how to keep my houseplants alive from green thumb patients and had a patient’s one-year-old greet me each time I arrive with outstretched arms.”
Dr. Connor McGee, PT, who sees On-Demand patients full-time, describes On-Demand visits as “eye-opening” and allows him to see patients as a whole person more easily. “My favorite thing is actually getting to see what it’s like to adjust treatments to people's homes ... in my mind, [exercises] take up two feet, but after doing them in people’s houses it’s more challenging,” McGee said. “I’m glad I’m getting that perspective for patients.”
Dr. Tochi Egbuzie, PT says that she can get creative with home visits. Since therapists do not have traditional gym equipment available, the PT can get creative with soup cans, or using stools in unique ways. Every session is a challenge in creativity, and a great way to foster good relationships with patients. The On-Demand PTs agree: it is a fun and personal way to treat patients.
As society slowly returns to normal, the IRG team doesn’t think IRG On-Demand is going to be phased out. Alyssa Brandt, the IRG On-Demand program manager, puts it this way: “We offer such a valuable service to people – people who are busy, people who work long hours or have children at home, and people who have transportation difficulties can all get accessible care with IRG On-Demand. We’re lucky to be able to provide this service and we’ll be doing this for a long time to come."
Learn about IRG On-Demand here!