If you ask nearly any group of people, friends meeting for dinner or colleagues around the conference table, chances are many of them have needed physical therapy at some point in their lives. Possibly it was related to surgery – post-surgical rehabilitation or pre-surgical strengthening – or maybe it was for therapeutic stretching and flexibility work. No matter the reason, the three Olympia Orthopaedic Associates Physical Therapy clinics are there to help you feel, and move, better.
OOA has three PT clinics serving South Sound residents with the largest inside the Olympia Westside Clinic. The second is the Eastside Clinic near Providence Saint Peter Hospital. The newest clinic is located just south of the Pierce/Thurston county line in the Hawks Prairie area of Lacey, adjacent to the new Rapid Orthopaedic Clinic, or ROC, which serves walk-in, acute orthopaedic injuries.
All the physical therapists on staff with OOA work in tandem to ensure patients receive the best care possible. Leading the teams are Kate Sisco, clinic director at the Westside location and Lisa Bowling, clinic director at the Eastside and Hawks Prairie locations. The directors ensure each patient’s care team are all on the same page, from the surgical team to a primary care physician to the therapist themselves. “I serve as a liaison between the surgeons here at Oly Ortho and a patient’s therapist, even if they are not within one of our clinics,” Sisco explains. “We can provide the best quality of care with consistent protocols because we are all in communication all the time.”
Housing the two larger clinics inside the orthopedic centers creates a simple way for care teams to coordinate, consult and adjust their care plan to best suit each patient’s changing needs. Patients appreciate the clear, efficient communication resulting in effective therapy sessions.
“Really, at the root of our mission,” shares Sisco, “is to provide what is most is convenient for the patient, whether it’s at the Eastside, Westside or Lacey clinic or in a physical therapy clinic outside the OOA family.”
Lisa Bowling, a 38-years veteran in the field, shares, “The ultimate benefit [of a PT clinic housed within an orthopaedic group] is that our therapists are on the front end of the knowledge base. We have direct access to the surgeons and doctors which eases the pathway to more information for concerns related to a patient, developing custom therapy protocols or asking questions on existing protocols. We keep on the front end of their specialty.”
Each of the OOA clinics are excited about a new chapter for the physical therapy departments. Their expanded service at the new Hawks Prairie allows ROC patients to walk over after an acute care visit, initiating physical therapy immediately when needed. This immediate care can often make a big difference in an acute injury situation.
Sisco and Bowling are working to also accommodating walk-up patients from the physicians within their own clinics. Despite a busy schedule, both clinicians see the advantages for patients and therapists to addressing certain situations as soon as possible.
Throughout the Olympia Orthopaedic Associates organization they are establishing multiple “Centers of Excellence.” OOA’s Centers of Excellence include Foot and Ankle, Hand and Upper Extremity, Neurosurgery, Spine, Joint Replacement and Sports Medicine.
“We are hiring specialists,” shares Sisco, “to match with our Centers of Excellence.” These include hand therapy experts as well as a developing team of foot and ankle therapy specialists to match the high-level surgical procedures being offered at the Foot and Ankle Center. “By having PTs with foot and ankle expertise, the therapists can follow post-operative care more precisely and the surgeons and the specialized therapists create close working relationships – real partnerships – within their specialty teams.”
“Our close teamwork sets us apart from other clinics,” explains Sisco of the unique partnership with OOA surgeons. “If a situation arises with their care, it can be easily addressed. Complications that arise from time to time can be discussed face-to-face with the patient’s surgeon who is usually just down the hall.”
Bowling notes the coordination has created positive outcomes within the outpatient joint replacement program. “The PT department has been involved in the same-day joint replacement program from the get go,” she shares. “It’s a real change from the typical rehabilitation after surgery to pre-habilitation model. We are now educating patients and caregivers before their surgery, teaching exercises, training their ‘coach’ or family member, and preparing equipment before-hand.”
The need for extensive post-operative care has dropped as a result. “It’s great to feel proactive and get ahead of a problem instead of always working after the fact. We are giving patients the power to be able to manage and understand their care and what they are dealing with. And, compliance with protocols is better because patients really feel like they know what to do and why.”
If you need to get your “Life in Motion” the Olympia Orthopaedic Associates Physical Therapy teams can help you get there. The first-class care provided by trained PTs working closely with surgical and medical teams creates solid results for patients. “We are really proud of the staff we’ve hired for our clinic,” shares Bowling. “We have therapists ranging from new graduates to people like me who have been at it for 36 years, all bringing a great diversity of experience that is shared among the team. If we run into an obstacle, we pull together and work as a team. Our communication as a team is one of our strengths and results in the best outcomes for our patients.”
To learn more about Olympia Orthopaedic Associates Physical Therapy, visit them online or call 800-936-3386.