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Will Your Healthcare Business Prosper During the Waves of COVID? It Can With the Hybrid Model of Care!
By: Nataliya Zlotnikov, MSc, HBSc

The coronavirus has caused many long-term effects on every industry, and healthcare is no exception. As rehabilitation practitioners, it is our responsibility to understand and manage these effects as healthcare undergoes a changing landscape, and adopting the hybrid model of care is the way to do this.

Let’s first define the hybrid model of care before discussing its adoption through telerehabilitation (telerehab).


What is the Hybrid Model of Care? 

The hybrid model of care combines in-person care and virtual care, to reach and support the maximum number of people, both during and after this pandemic. It includes connecting the different areas of healthcare to create a stronger system. Check out this short video from one of Embodia'a online physiotherapy courses, the “Patient Engagement & the Hybrid Model of Care in Physiotherapy” by Dr. Ben Fung and Jerry Durham.

Or feel free to take the entire online course, if you’d like to learn more about it.

Learn More about the Hybrid Model of Care


One care model included in the hybrid model of care is virtual care, also known as telerehab. Given the pandemic, many are working from home, limiting their outdoor interactions with others, and only leaving when necessary. Therefore, there is an increasing demand for online healthcare services. 

A 2018 survey discovered that 44% of Canadians would try telerehab, and this was pre-COVID. Just imagine the demand increase from patients given the current pandemic. If you’re interested, here’s a great CBC article explaining the benefits of telerehab and utilizing it to positively transform our systems in response to COVID-19. 

To learn more about telerehab, concerns expressed by patients and practitioners with solutions, or facts and myths to debunk, check out this great blog post. Or get your hands-on experience with Embodia’s free online healthcare course, “Telerehabilitation on Embodia”.


Components of the Hybrid Model of Care

Now that we’ve defined the hybrid model of care, let's understand the various components related to it. Listed below are 7 components that have been highlighted by this pandemic:

  • New Ideas
  • Blue Ocean Opportunities
  • Digital Models
  • Convenience
  • Impact
  • New Normal
  • Next Generation of Physiotherapists

However, we invite you to join us in this conversation and be a part of the ongoing dialogue. Each component is further detailed within the course, and we’d love to hear your thoughts along the way as well!

1. New Ideas

This pandemic has highlighted aches and pains, therefore a new approach with new ideas is sought out by consumers, such as the one listed below.

One new idea is the approach with which we understand our field. No longer does the patient come at a time and location convenient to us, but we meet them halfway using the hybrid model of care. This approach is a part of a larger outlook to see your practice as a business, thus ensuring maximum utility and patient engagement. Understanding your practice as a healthy business model will cause you to think differently and connect all the components you wouldn’t normally think of. It allows practitioners to understand the patient’s journey from the front desk to your office, their experiences within the healthcare setting and training everyone in your team to be a part of a well-oiled, seamlessly connected machine. By connecting these components within the patient's experience, and unifying our areas of knowledge, we can create a stronger system for all. 

These are just a few of the ideas discussed to broaden our perspectives as rehabilitation practitioners and to successfully convert more patients into our practice.


2. Blue Ocean Opportunities

Blue ocean opportunities are new ideas or features which haven’t been explored yet or were limitedly used. But it’s not limited to new ideas, blue ocean opportunities also combine features in different ways to create a new purpose, therefore preexisting objects can be repurposed. The new ideas resulting from seeing your practice as a business can lead you into blue ocean territory, and that is encouraged!

As rehabilitation practitioners, we want to help people live their best life physically and this is achieved by seeing healthcare as a preventative tool versus a reactionary tool. The best way to approach this is through digital means. Technology is at the forefront of blue ocean opportunities in healthcare, and the hybrid model of care is the perfect way to get started. As a blue ocean idea itself, the hybrid model of care adopted through a business lens will allow practitioners to incorporate the membership model, thus resulting in patient engagement and success. Telerehab or even group telerehab, when used correctly and with innovation, is a blue ocean waiting to be sailed. Explore the online course in further detail to discover more about how to extend our care to more people and how to diversify your income!

If you’d like to learn how to use the telerehabilitation feature on Embodia to progress your practice forward, we encourage you to explore this free course.


3. Next Generation of Physiotherapists

The next generation of physiotherapists and rehabilitative practitioners are affected by how we react to COVID-19 and guide those around us. Understanding the value of communication when interacting with patients as they go through their experience versus when they are ‘broken’ at the end, is key to meeting the needs of our business and patients. 

All of the solutions and ideas of understanding healthcare as a business, connecting all members of your team, moving upstream to interact with patients in a preventative manner, communicating with a consumer lens, understanding the growth of technology and its blue ocean potential opportunity when combined with healthcare will inspire the next generation. This is their fuel and knowledge, and the common denominator of all these ideas is the hybrid model of care.


Where to Learn More?

All these factors play a tremendous role in the hybrid model of care, and as practitioners, it is our responsibility to accept and move forward with the current changes. If this has sparked your curiosity or you’d like to learn more about the hybrid model of care and its related ideas, I welcome you to check out our online healthcare course Patient Engagement & the Hybrid Model of Care in Physiotherapy” course on Embodia. Each component is further described in detail with additional resources provided.

We’d love for you to join the conversation in expanding the definition and process of healthcare. Feel free to leave us a comment or tag us on social media with your thoughts on the hybrid model of care as you explore the online course.

Learn more with Dr. Ben Fung


Learning how to navigate a crisis is difficult, but there’s an opportunity in it for positive change. The greater the crisis, the greater the opportunity.

Letting it slip through our fingers is an opportunity sent to waste. As seen in the image below, “there has been more innovation in healthcare in 10 weeks than in the past 10 years!”, as further discussed in the online course.

Dr. Ben Fung
PT, Co-Founder UpDoc Media

With a previous background in Bioengineering & Psychology, Ben has experienced every level of work in clinical healthcare, from laboring as an aide to serving as a program director; in settings such as major trauma hospitals to rural home care.

His career path has thematically revolved around innovation, business strategy, and public roles. Such roles have provided him substantial experience in organizational behavior, public outreach through news media and national conferences, multiple service line developments, market analysis, and operational optimization to which he has also had the privilege in consulting for venture capitalists, healthcare executives, and small business owners.

Ben is currently the COO & Co-Founder for UpDoc Media as well as CFO & Co-Founder for Recharge, a novel blend of Physio, CrossFit, and Mindfulness.

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