What is Telehealth?
Telehealth is an alternate way of delivering effective evidence-based allied health therapy services to help an individual achieve their health and well-being goals.
In many ways, it’s just like seeing any health care provider, but instead of your consultation being in person, your face-to-face appointment is virtual, either through the use of digital technology or via a phone.
With the recent developments relating to the COVID-19 outbreak, telehealth has quickly become a viable option to continue your therapy or complete your assessment needs. It helps prevent regression towards goal attainment while ensuring the health and safety of the client, their family/carer, and staff.
How Can We Use Telehealth?
- Telehealth can be used to complete a consultation that would normally be performed face-to-face.
- Telehealth is supported by easy-to-follow resource development. Our staff will include these resources that have been developed to supplement your consultation objectives. They can be used in your daily schedule that will improve your life skills and wellness outcomes.
- If telehealth consultations are not deemed suitable for the individual, then telehealth with the primary carer or support worker can be arranged to educate and demonstrate therapy strategies to pass onto the client.
- Telehealth is used to facilitate the completion of a home therapy support program. This is where the practitioner provides a program for the client to complete at home with their primary carer or support worker. Once understood, our staff can then arrange to check in with the client, carer or support worker on the progress of the home program. These follow up sessions are excellent to address concerns with the program, make improvements or advance the program as needed.
- Education sessions for the parents or carers are an excellent way of maintaining any therapy or treatment goals that you have been working on as well as providing overall support for the carer and/or support worker in their care for the client. This does not replace the treatment or therapy but maintains progress made prior to ceasing face-to-face consultation arrangements.
Traditional Barriers to Telehealth
Optimum will spend the time with the client to work through any of the following traditionally presented to our staff by their clients:
- Lack of technology understanding (i.e. poor internet, use of different apps etc).
- Parents or Carers resistant to trying something new and different.
- Lack of support workers for families during this period.
- Lack of time (its more time efficient than face to face in clinic session).
Remember this method may only be temporary and is the best way to support our clients towards their health and well-being goals at this current time. Optimum has experience in being creative to work with the client and their individual circumstances and needs. Just like our face-to-face consultations, each telehealth session will be individualised for that client to support progress towards their goals.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brad Sculley is an accredited Exercise Physiologist and is now General Manager and Business Development Manager of Optimum Health Solutions.