Note: This story is the first in a series from our annual Health & Wellness special section, first published in the April 1 print edition and sponsored by Franciscan Health.
”Anytime people or patients have questions, they can always come in; there is an open-door policy in seeking more information, and we welcome it,” said Sheralee Shah, outpatient clinic manager and physical therapist at the Franciscan Health Outpatient Therapy Center, 18428 Governors Highway at the south end of Cherry Creek Plaza in Homewood.
“Our facility and staff … strive to offer and accommodate resources and comfortability for our patients’ needs,” she said.
The Health Outpatient Therapy Center offers multidisciplinary services for patients’ needs, including physical, occupational and speech therapy.
“We see patients with various diagnoses ranging from patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), stroke, Parkinson’s, traumatic brain injuries, balance deficits, (and) a variety (of others),” Shah said, “so providing a one-stop shop for patient care is beneficial.
“Being able to facilitate multiple disciplinary services … is a significant service to our patients; relaying all this information in one location improves our patient’s experience. Having one-on-one all in one place keeps the communication line between the therapists so cohesive, so there isn’t anything missed.”
Shah acknowledged that health insurance can be a complicated process for many; navigating through a health insurance policy to interpret and understand it can be confusing.
“We try to work with our patients’ insurance, closely following their guidelines,” Shah said. “We try to see the patient as a whole unit if they have specific visit limits annually, and what their insurance allows to be able to adjust with patients’ needs and alleviate financial hurdles by closely evaluating policies.
“Patients and family members come here to tour the facility before starting; even on a walk-in basis, we can take patients within 48 hours, with valid insurance.”
Shah also explained just how essential it is to make sure staff have one-on-one time with patients to guarantee time to thoroughly explain treatments, plans and therapy to provide for patients’ needs and comforts.
“Our facility specifically sets appointments with patients for 45 minutes to one hour of one-on-one time, which means we allow our staff to have that direct care and quality time with patients,” Shah said.
“Every session, we begin with a couple of minutes of conversation, what are (the patients’) pain levels, weekend plans, talking with our patients as opposed to at our patients, in developing a rapport with patients that is inviting,” Shah said.
It also is “an opportunity to showcase to the community the variety of diagnoses, body parts, treatments, aliments, injuries that physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy can help with.”
For more information on services provided, clinical hours and scheduling appointments, visit Franciscan’s Health Outpatient Therapy Center site at franciscanhealth.org.