We had quite the fun, busy and successful week in Indianapolis for the Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association. We had an exciting booth with great staff which helped make this trade show successful. We handed out t-shirts, opened the pool up for attendees to try, hosted an event and more! And to top that all off, we had a special appearance from Hydro Man, the superhero who defends aging and fights pain.
On the second day, we hosted an afterhours event in our booth, featuring four different experts who all shared different experiences with using and integrating aquatic therapy. Over 50 attendees came to the HydroWorx booth to enjoy cocktails and appetizers and to learn more about “The Value of Water.”
Veronica Paquette, PT, ATRIC, Owner of Essex Aquatic & Rehab Center in Vermont, spoke first about her experience with integrating two HydroWorx pools into her small practice in Essex Junction, VT. She sees a variety of patient types in her facility and nearly all of them are able to benefit from aquatic therapy. “This [pool] is great not just for post-op patients and athletes, but I also have a lot of people with neuropathy that get in the pool. They cannot walk on land because they have so much pain in their feet. They can’t walk to their mailbox, but they can get in and walk 20 minutes on the underwater treadmill.” In addition to sharing the benefits of the pool for her large patient mix, Veronica touched on the impact that the pool has had on her practice.
“Before I purchased my pool, it was just me. I was seeing anywhere from 65 to 75 patients a month and I was working two days a week. The minute I opened my doors [after integrating the HydroWorx pools], I had patients five days a week. My business has more than quadrupled over the ten years that I have had my HydroWorx pool. And I would say that within the first year, it more than doubled.”
Keith Ori, BS, PT, Co-Owner of Orthopedic Rehab Facilities in Montana, continued by discussing the ROI he’s received with aquatic therapy. Keith, who has 7 clinic locations, has been able to generate a 38% profit margin with the pool. “And you can see our profit margin was 38%- I am pretty proud of that! That was a surprise to me! I look back at this and kind of wonder to myself, ‘Why did you have such a hard time pulling the trigger?’ It was a no brainer.” Keith also shared that within the first six months of integrating their HydroWorx pool, they were making a profit, which increased every year thereafter.
“It is a tremendous way to treat your patients, first, and be successful, second. This has been a tremendous asset to our practice as far as taking people who are low level, low functioning individuals and getting them going to higher levels of functioning and better living for themselves.”
Last but certainly not least, Dr. Dennis Dolny, PhD and Dr. Eadric Bressel, EdD, Research Specialists at Utah State University, discussed some of their recent research findings. They both have been very influential in this field with their cutting-edge aquatic treadmill research. For example, Dr. Bressel shares that he gets asked the question all the time, “Well can’t I just use, for example, an unloading device to replicate some of the advantages of using an underwater treadmill? In other words, I can unload perhaps 20% to 30% of my body weight just using a land unloader? But there is a very big difference between the two and it has to do with cognitive health. As a result of our research, we found that people actually cognitively have more brain activity in the water than on land which seems to lead to better cognitive performance in the water.” These new research findings are very exciting, because the aquatic environment can be used not only for physical health and rehabilitation but also for mental or cognitive health, which can make an even bigger impact on a patient’s overall health.
Following these presentations, Anson Flake, HydroWorx Co-Founder and CEO, presented the first ever Healthcare Excellence in Aquatics award. The first place winner was Pullman Regional Hospital for their innovative therapy program for a 3 year old patient with a brain tumor. This case study was fascinating and tied in very well to research that Dr. Bressel presented about increased cognitive performance in an aquatic environment. Ambyr Henderson, speech therapist, and Tim Williams, physical therapist, combined their efforts in their HydroWorx pool and they say the results were amazing!
If you were in attendance for the Combined Sections Meeting, we hope you enjoyed your time as much as we did. Here are a few photos from the event:
We spent some time talking with Joan Arieta, DPT and owner of Alhambra Valley Physical Therapy in Pleasant Hill, California. For years they’ve been helping patients heal in Constra Costa County with their amazing aquatics program.
Joan shared with us ways they utilize their new HydroWorx 500 Series and how they market their aquatics program.
HydroWorx: How do you utilize the HydroWorx 500 Series to treat your patients?
Joan: We use it a lot for correcting gait dysfunction and postural issues. We see many patients with extreme joint pain. In the water, however, this pain is significantly less, or gone altogether. These patients are able to start using the musculature around the joints in the proper way, gain strength and then carry this improved functionality over to land.
HydroWorx: How has the camera system in conjunction with the therapy pool affected your care delivery?
Joan: We have two above water cameras, two underwater cameras and a flat screen monitor that give us and our patients immediate feedback. Many times, people are not aware that they have incorrect posture. When they can see themselves on camera and see their posturing, they understand what upright really feels and looks like. Numerous patients walking in forward flexion think they are fully upright until they see themselves walking, unassisted, on camera
HydroWorx: How important would you say your aquatics program is to your practice?
Joan: First of all, from a marketing standpoint, we’re the only people in Contra Costa County that has an underwater treadmill. And physicians know that if they have a patient that’s limited weight bearing, that they can send them to us and the patient can exercise “crutch free.” This way, the patients don’t develop any of those bad habits and patterns that develop with the overuse of upper extremities trying to unload your legs. So the treadmill is very important to our practice and drives many referrals our way.
HydroWorx: What would you tell people who are investing in an underwater treadmill pool and looking to market their aquatics program?
Joan: When we invested in our HydroWorx pool, we originally sent a letter out to about 100 orthopedic surgeons, inviting them to an after-hours event at our clinic to kind of introduce them to our clinic. This was not effective for us. Later we learned that personal visits to their offices were much more effective. Building relationships with them on a one-on-one basis worked wonders. Our aquatics program has been built by word of mouth through doctors and patients. And now we receive many referrals every month from the biggest providers in town. We stay extremely busy.
HydroWorx: Any last words about aquatic therapy?
Joan: Well, aquatic therapy is a great transitional environment. I think it sometimes gets a bad reputation because people just envision patients moving around in the water with umbrella drinks, as a social event. But the HydroWorx pool makes it a dynamic working environment, so it changes the whole perspective of what aquatic therapy is and can be. It’s not just making it easier for the patient to move; it’s making function easier. It’s facilitating function, and it’s a great way to get people mobile—first in water, then transitioning that function to land. It’s really done wonders for our patients.
Are you interested in learning more about the benefits of aquatic therapy? Download our free tipsheet, “Five Ways Aquatic Therapy Impacts Rehabilitation” today>>
Alhambra Valley Physical Therapy is a small, outpatient neurological and orthopedic family practice clinic located in Pleasant Hill, CA that offers evaluation and treatment for a variety of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular system dysfunctions. Our therapeutic goals are pain relief and restoration of proper biomechanics, movement, and function through evidence-based practice. All treatments are individualized to the specific needs of the patient, and treatments typically consist of biweekly, hour-long sessions.
The therapists have expertise in the examination of musculoskeletal and neurological impairments, and are trained to improve and restore movement and function through manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, physical agents, and specialize in aquatic therapy programs with our state-of-the-art HydroWorx 500 series indoor pool with underwater treadmill.
Stonehill Care Center, a part of Stonehill Franciscan Services in Dubuque, Iowa, is a fully accredited not-for-profit residential and long-term facility with a difference. They use aquatic therapy as an integral part of their rehabilitation and wellness programs.
Join us on February 24, 2015 from 1:00pm to 2:00pm EST for the free webinar, “Road Map to Creating a Successful Aquatics Program for Seniors.” Paula Osterberger, Wellness Director, and Rachel McDermott, former Director of Rehabilitation, at Stonehill Franciscan Services in Dubuque, IA as they share the successes they’ve had and lessons learned from starting an aquatic therapy program in their senior living wellness and therapy center. They will review strategies for initiating and maintaining a successful wellness and therapy program with aquatics as its focus. They will share ideas for marketing and tips on how to get a community engaged. Paula and Rachel will also discuss how to maximize return on the investment of an aquatic therapy pool. They look forward to sharing their experience and hope to encourage others to take this path to becoming the provider of choice in their area, outshining competitors and changing the perspective of senior living and wellness.
Attendees will learn:
- Tips for getting the community engaged
- How to maximize return on the investment of an aquatic therapy pool
- How to outshine competitors and become a provider of choice
The old story says that George Washington was unable to tell a lie. We at HydroWorx cannot tell a lie, either. So on this month of presidents and red hearts, we must admit that around here, we absolutely, positively and completely love water!
There are tons of reasons for our adoration of the stuff made up of two hydrogen and one oxygen molecules. Below are just a few that will give you a better understanding of why water to us is truly the stuff of life, longevity and happiness.
“This is one of the things that gives me hope. I would have to be almost dead not to make my water appointment.” -Mary, user at Pieters Family Life Center
- More than 70% of the world is actually made of water, and our bodies are comprised of up to 60% of this liquid. Some organisms and plants are actually around 90% water! That’s a good starting point to show how integral it is to daily life.
- Water is essential to good health, starting from the inside. By drinking the recommended 6-8 glasses of water each day, the average person will start to see a huge difference in his or her body. This can include increased stamina, improved sleep, clearer skin, better digestion and a more focused mind.
- On the outside, water keeps us clean, as well as improves the humidity level in the air. This helps moisturize our skin, keep our eyes feeling comfortable (have you ever experienced dry eyes due to an arid climate?) and can even keep illnesses at bay.
- Water can help the body heal itself. As we see every day, the people who perform physical therapy in our HydroWorx pools regularly feel like they are on the path to wellness. Whether recovering from surgery, coming back after a sports injury or dealing with natural aging processes, they report that their bodies respond positively to rehab in water.
- Water is the ideal exercise medium for anyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re obese, a senior, or you’re a child weighing 50 pounds: The water can be a place to exercise and burn calories. Thanks to water’s buoyancy, up to 80% of a person’s weight is offset when an individual is in the pool. Even someone who weighs 500 pounds will only feel like he or she weighs 100 pounds when submerged to the chest. (This is one of the reasons HydroWorx was chosen as an equipment partner for competitors on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser.”)
- Water provides us with a perfect forum in which to play with friends or bask in the beauty of nature. No wonder the beach is one of the top vacation places to go! And we certainly couldn’t boat or fish without water.
- Water helps to reduce soreness in muscles. When exercisers such as elite runners are trying to lessen the lactic acid build-up after a particularly rough workout or meet, they often turn to working out or getting a hydromassage in the HydroWorx pool to combat discomfort from muscle aches.
“Aquatherapy is one of the greatest therapies that I can have. It’s such a huge feeling of joy that like I’m doing this, I’m standing up, I’m me again.” – Brian Keefer, HydroWorx User
The renowned poet W.H. Auden famously noted that “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.” While that may be true, on this February 14, we wish you the joy and rewards of both!
An aquatic therapy pool in a senior living community can have a significant impact on multiple facets of residents’ well-being. It can not only be used for rehabilitation after injury or surgery, but it can also be used for wellness. Using an advanced aquatic therapy pool can be beneficial to your residents, your community and your bottom line.
One specific continuing care retirement community (CCRC), Stonehill Franciscan Services in Dubuque, Iowa, has seen tremendous success by combining innovative strategies with unique marketing and state of the art equipment. Their unique methods have created a pool and wellness center that are consistently full while also generating future occupancy, physical therapy referrals and impressive revenue.
According to Rachel McDermott, former Director of Rehabilitation at Stonehill Franciscan Services,
“We use the pool for high level balance, strokes, spinal cord injuries, peds, ACL repairs, falls reduction… and the list goes on…”
Stonehill Franciscan Services drastically exceeded first year expectations of their HydroWorx 2000 Series pool which was put in as part of the wellness addition to their campus. The goal was to serve the community along with their residents. They hoped to have 350 wellness memberships, but they garnered over 3,000 members in the first year.
To learn more about the program that Stonehill Franciscan Services uses and the financial impact it has on their community, download our Wellness and Therapy Program Profile here>>