Bridging the Gaps in Healthcare: Importance of Continuity in Patient Care During the Pandemic and Beyond

Competitive Edge Physical Therapy

Physical therapy does not solely encompass recovery from an injury; instead, it focuses on enabling a person’s body to function at its optimal level and to maintain energy balance within the system as a whole. Along with physicians, nutritional consultants, and mental health specialists, physical therapy serves as one component in a larger health care system that has become increasingly focused on overall health and wellness of patients. Optimal health is a continuum: if function is impaired at one level, it affects the rest of the body. In the face of a global pandemic, the importance of a comprehensive health care team including physician and non-physician providers has become paramount.


Health care has evolved to a specialist-based system, with the goal of funneling patients to an expert to best manage their care. However, this system often leaves patients in between specialists and without members of the care team on the “same page” to promote optimal health and wellness.

Competitive Edge Physical Therapy (CEP) has served the Tampa community for the past 13 years to keep patients healthy and active while building and maintaining relationships with trusted physician and non-physician providers to bridge the gaps between specialties. These relationships are critical for success in helping patients to understand their treatment plan and commit to a program aimed at maximizing their health. CEP leverages these partnerships to enable effective, ongoing communication between providers regarding mutual patients. By discussing care plans, re-evaluating the success of current interventions, and brainstorming “outside the box” for alternative treatment strategies, these strong relationships add the missing link in continuity of patient care.

In development of these partnerships, the critical component is a like-minded treatment approach among all disciplines. For CEP, this includes identifying community providers that share the vision of utilizing the most up-to-date and effective treatments while promoting the goals of optimal health. CEP offers the latest in recovery science and “bio-tech” to expand the scope of physical therapy practice beyond injury rehabilitation into the realm of achieving optimal health and wellness for all clients.

Similarly, CEP’s community relationships harness emerging treatments to maximize outcomes, whether through advanced imaging, stem cell therapy, nutrition science, or regenerative modalities. Each individual specialty works toward the common goal of helping patients to achieve optimal health and function—a goal that is now more important than ever when navigating a global pandemic.

When managing patients for acute or chronic injuries, physical therapists work with physicians in a team based approach by helping patients understand importance of regular treatment/follow ups and to educate patients on setting new routines for ongoing progress despite limitations caused by the pandemic in accessing care.

Dr. Kevin Elder at BayCare Sports Medicine is one of CEP’s trusted physician relationships. He shared his perspective as a referring physician provider to physical therapy, stating that “optimal care in a sports medicine setting involves a team based approach, where there is good communication and respect for the professional capabilities of all those involved in providing high-quality sports medicine evaluation and care.  In my own practice of sports medicine, it is common for me to receive communication on a daily basis from physical therapists about patients that we are treating together, and this open line of communication allows for not only a very tailored, specific approach, but also allows for best outcomes.” In a sports setting, this team based approach is carried out as athletic trainers provide on-the-field management of injuries, communicate with team physician for further evaluation, and then the physician communicates with physical therapy for return to sport progression.

This approach is paralleled in a non-athletic population, where effective treatment requires communication between referring provider and the physical therapy team to discuss any changes in the condition requiring further evaluation or imaging, or if there is need to consider a different direction of the treatment.

For those that may not require physical therapy services for an injury, the global pandemic has served as a call for many patients to seek their own care through more holistic measures to promote health and wellness. CEP is equipped to provide an additional link to these services by utilizing expertise in the field of neuromuscular science to optimize the body systems and create a well-balanced whole. This can encompass treatment via heart rate variability diagnostics, neuro biological electrical stimulation (NEUBIE) and pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy at CEP, as well as referrals to trusted nutritional counseling or regenerative specialty providers that serve to optimize cellular function and boost the immune system.

CEP relies on our partnerships with these specialists to establish comprehensive care plans for patients and promote optimal health for all clients.

CEP has defined itself as the premier physical therapy organization focusing on using state of the art biotechnology to rehabilitate injuries and achieve optimal health across the lifespan. Drawing on relationships established throughout years in physical therapy practice, CEP remains committed to redefining conventional healthcare by maximizing continuity of care among specialties to ensure patients meet their health and wellness goals.


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