Patient compliance is an integral piece of the rehabilitation puzzle. Patients being consistent with their prescribed home exercise program depends on several factors, however there are two aspects that stand out beyond the rest.

  1. Forming a Therapeutic Alliance with the patient and getting buy-in that their program will help them achieve THEIR goals
  2. Providing a thorough, efficient, and easy to use resource so that they can feel confident in the performance of their program.

While the first aspect of the puzzle relies on the clinician and their ability to educate and coach their patient, the second aspect can be accomplished with the correct technology. Recently, Medbridge came out with their MedBridgeGO app to compliment their growing Home Exercise Program. I have been using both the HEP and app for the past month and below are my thoughts…

How it Works:

1. You use MedBridge’s VERY easy to use home exercise program

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2. The patient downloads and accesses MedbridgeGO, then inputs their access code (provided by their PT)

3. Their session begins…

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Additional Features:

1. Patient education resources that are modifiable are also available to be accessed via the MedbridgeGO application. This allows the patient easy access to information regarding their condition.

2. The ability to set a reminder in order to improve patient compliance.

This feature gives your patients the ability to set an alarm that will automatically sync with their phone’s alarm system. This allows for the patient to have continual reminders that they need to do their homework. In theory, this eliminates the, “I forgot” excuse.

1. Ease of Use

The program is very easy to use and I have been able to utilize it with patients in their teens (much more successfully) and my geriatric population (with a bit more coaching). There will always be patients that prefer a paper home exercise program whether because they prefer that medium or they do not feel comfortable with the technology. All menus and screens spell out what needs to be done and it is presented in a very clear, simple manner.

2. Accuracy of Program

With over 4,000 exercises and 150 patient education resources, there is ample to choose from when making your patient’s home exercise program. That being said, if something has not found its way into their database yet, you do have the ability to add your own exercises/patient education or modify existing content. All exercises chosen in the HEP transferred seamlessly to the MedbrdgeGO app throughout my use to this point.

3. Patient Compliance

The added benefit in this system is being able to see when patients actually performed their HEP… Some patients can be a but ‘misleading’ in their responses. Outside of this additional checks and balances, I have found that giving my patients an easy to perform and easy to access home exercise program has led to increased compliance and accuracy of exercise performance throughout my time using the program.

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4. Overall

This program gives the therapist all of the tools needed to provide a simple, effective home exercise program. The program itself is not for everyone because it does require a requisite comfort level with technology, however this has been a much smaller population than I had expected.

As great as the program is, there are a few areas that do need addressed moving forward. The exercise program is based on a timer that is calculated based on the sets and reps chosen by the therapist. However, as we know, patients perform movements with varying levels of ease and speed. This can make some patients feel as though they are lagging behind throughout the program. Additionally, this issue especially comes through when giving patients a hold time during their exercise (i.e. hold a bridge for 5 seconds or long duration isometrics for 30 seconds) since the current time calculation does not account for this. By having the patient ‘pause’ their program, this issue can be worked around.

The MedbridgeGO app gives the clinician and patient the ability to ensure that they are 100% on the same page with regards to exercise performance and frequency of performance. It has a few small areas that need addressed (and I am sure they will be), but overall adding this program has been incredibly beneficial to my patient care and I will continue to utilize it moving forward.

About the Author John Snyder, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS

I am a Physical Therapist, a Board Certified Orthopaedic Specialist, a Strength & Conditioning Specialist, an Educator, and a Research Junkie. My goal is to provide resources for orthopedic and sports medicine clinicians to keep up to date with the current literature and allow them to translate it to their practice.

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