The spread of COVID-19 has severely impacted the way UCHealth Stapleton Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, part of the University of Colorado (UC) School of Medicine and UCHealth has been able to treat its patients.
The clinic has cancelled its amputee support group meeting for March and is considering canceling the April meeting.
UCHealth has been holding its monthly support group for people with amputations since 2013, said Guy Lev, PT, DPT, COMT, supervisor of Rehab Services for the clinic, which is located near the Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado. "This situation is fluid, and we will evaluate next month's meeting as the time gets closer," Lev said. "Given the modeling that is coming out, I would assume the request for social distancing will go into April and we will have to cancel."
The clinic is trying to proceed with business as usual, with employees coming to the clinic daily Lev said. "Their job is primarily to make clinical decisions on who is essential and [the patients] we need to cancel and reschedule. Many people with amputations have multiple risk factors and comorbidities, which put them at a higher risk for coming into the clinic and need to maintain social distancing," he said. "They are also using whatever means possible to communicate with their patients and progress their rehab program when possible through online and phone communication. We are rescheduling and communicating by other means with our less essential but higher risk populations."
The clinic will continue to manage its business in response to supply and demand and has contingency plans to use outpatient therapists to staff on patient floors, if needed. It is also working on increasing its ability to provide telehealth, Lev said. "But this is unprecedented, and constantly evolving, and our response will have to evolve along with it," he said. "Our primary concern is the safety of our patients and our staff and will remain the driving force behind decision making as we go forward."
In the interim, if peer support is needed, Lev is asking those to call the office at 720-553-2724. "We have many people and resources able to do one-on-one peer support or on-the-phone support, if needed," he said.