Adirondack Health announces rehabilitation and sports medicine safety initiatives

Adirondack Health’s rehabilitation and sports medicine department has resumed physical, occupational, and speech therapies at outpatient locations across the Tri-Lakes, following workflow changes to enhance safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to the continuation of a comprehensive telehealth program for those unable to attend therapies in person, rehabilitation and sports medicine clinicians have developed a departmental infection control team. The team continually reviews guidance from agencies including the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), as well as the New York State Department of Health.  

“We were able to safely provide essential rehabilitation therapy without interruption these last few months,” said Rick Preston, director of Adirondack Health’s rehabilitation and sports medicine department. “The lessons we learned and best practices we developed are broadly applicable to other types of therapy visits and, frankly, other hospital and outpatient settings.”

While the North Country region entered phase four of the state re-opening plan last Friday, gyms and fitness facilities – including Adirondack Health’s medical fitness center in Lake Placid – remain closed as state officials work to address lingering COVID-19 transmission concerns.

“Many of our medical fitness center members have, of course, found other ways to stay physically active in the interim,” added Preston. “Our rehabilitation and sports medicine patients, on the other hand, require very focused and individualized attention to see and maintain progress following injuries, illnesses or surgeries. We have adapted our processes to ensure we are continuing to safely and efficiently care for those folks.”

Among the steps taken:

• All patients are now asked to arrive closer to scheduled appointment times, to reduce the number of individuals sharing waiting areas;

• All staff, patients, and visitors at all Adirondack Health facilities are screened for COVID-19 symptoms upon entry and required to wear facemasks when within six feet of others;

• Waiting areas and clinical spaces have been rearranged to promote physical distancing;

• All surfaces are cleaned before and after each use, and handwashing/sanitization stations are located throughout treatment areas;

• Whenever possible, doors are propped open to avoid the touching of doorknobs.

To learn more about Adirondack Health’s infection control initiatives, visit adirondackhealth.org/safe-care. Questions regarding rehabilitation and sports medicine services and/or appointments can be addressed directly by contacting the department at 518-897-2697 or 518-523-8580.

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