While therapy is a critical component for both post-acute and long-term care residents of skilled nursing facilities, achieving engagement among some patients can be a challenge for both in-house and third-party therapy providers.
By “gamifying” therapy via a hardware-agnostic platform, some providers are finding not only much greater engagement among patients and residents receiving therapy, but also the unforeseen benefit of engaging non-therapy residents and their family members under social distancing protocols set under the COVID-19 pandemic.
Driving therapy engagement
As a third-party therapy provider in multiple settings including post-acute and long-term care facilities, Adaptive Rehabilitation Services set out in 2019 to find a platform that would improve patient participation and garner more engagement in therapy as well as measure functional skills and progress. Further, Adaptive wanted a solution that did not require a hardware purchase to host the platform.
“There are a lot of products that require the user to have [a specific] device,” says Aaryn Crosby, chief operating officer at the Middleburg Heights, Ohio-based Adaptive Rehabilitation Services. “We were looking for something that can work on multiple systems and computers … something that could deliver functional room treatments. Many patients may not be able to come down, or are nervous to come down to the gym.”
The company implemented RESTORE Skills in early 2020 and saw measured success in engagement. The platform, which can run on any web-enabled laptop with a display and a camera, provides a series of goal-oriented games that merge therapy with fun tasks that can be played with a single player or multiple players engaged on a single screen.
With games to present to residents and patients, therapy teams soon reported that those not previously participating were increasingly using the platform and were seeing increased functional outcomes. They were practicing more and were resisting less, which led to improved progress overall.
“Having a truly fun and interactive therapy session versus a standard therapeutic exercise has increased engagement and mental well being by allowing patients to perform together and compete,” Crosby says.
An unforeseen benefit: the platform serves as an activity for non-therapy residents as well.
“We have had activity aides asking for us to train them on the program; residents’ roommates are telling them they want to try it out too,” he says.
A socially-distant therapy solution
With skilled nursing facilities and other care settings implementing isolation procedures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, RESTORE has served a new purpose for Adaptive Rehab: Bringing therapy to residents and getting their family members involved.
“The platform has the ability to send a link to the resident or loved one so they can log in together and participate in the therapy activity,” Crosby says. “This gives loved ones a sense of security. They know their loved one is progressing and is doing OK, and they are able to see each other, versus a phone call.”
Further, being able to take the program to residents in their rooms or units has proven invaluable during a time when shared spaces — including gyms and therapy rooms — are no longer accessible.
“We are looking at two different realities, the world before COVID-19 and today,” says RESTORE Skills CEO and founder Eran Arden. “Positive patient experience and driving motivation are more important now than ever. We are thankful that we can help patient reach therapy goals, measure success, and share the experience with their loved ones”
Gamified therapy and PDPM
The benefit to users under the new Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) is twofold, Arden says, first that there are more practice opportunities, and second that patients are less likely to refuse therapy.
“If more patients are engaged in therapy, you have higher success as a business, better therapy outcomes, and higher patient experience. It’s a win-win-win for the patient, the team and the operator,” he says.
Additionally, users are more readily able to offer group and concurrent therapy.
“It is amazing to see how much effort residents are investing when practicing activities of range of motion, weight shifting, and taking steps while competing on their leaderboard position in our skiing and slot machine activities.” Arden added.
“It’s a great tool to use with group and concurrent therapy, so residents can do functional therapy together,” Crosby says. “Patients love to work together and they get better outcomes. We can also build patient-specific activities which we are striving for under PDPM.”
To learn more about how RESTORE turns every computer into a Powerful, Engaging, and Measurable Functional Skills Development Platform, visit restoreskills.com/.