We have all been impacted and continue to be Impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It has certainly made us as an allied health service find creative ways in which we can continue to deliver excellent services to our clients even when we cannot leave our homes.
This is where telehealth comes in!
Now telehealth Is not new. In fact, research into telehealth practices began In the 1970s and as technologies have developed telehealth has been crucial In ensuring our clients who live remotely have equal opportunity to access speech pathology.
The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that clients who would normally see their speech pathologist face to face are for the first time navigating the world of telehealth. Lucky for our clients, National360 Is committed to growing and developing their telehealth services so that we can continue to support everyone.
While telehealth may seem like a “second best option,” the evidence for telehealth speech pathology services is steadily growing and the results so far are very positive. A systematic review of the use of telehealth In speech, language and hearing sciences by Molini-Avejonas, et al (2015) showed that 85.5% of papers reported that telehealth can provide advantages for distance care.
So what works well In Telehealth?
In short…..a Lot! The following activities can be carried really successfully by our therapists
- Initial interviews Including gathering case history Information
- Formal standardised and Informal assessments
- Collaborative goal setting between client, family, carers, teachers, other clinicians
- Consultations with teachers, carers, support workers to demonstrate Intervention strategies and to answer questions
- Therapy for speech, language, fluency, voice, social communication, and swallowing and mealtime management
- 1:1 therapy and group therapy
- Workshops and training sessions for parents/carers
- Communication partner training
- AAC assessment, trial and Implementation
- Parent/carer coaching and consultation with the use of videos
- Reviews of Intervention programs and progress
- Sessions can be supported by Interpreting services using conference calling
All you need is:
- A computer, tablet or smartphone with a camera and audio capacity
- Internet connection
- A quiet place where your meeting can take place within your home
Advantages of telehealth:
- Time and costs are saved on travel
- You can access services where there Is not a therapist available In your area
- Key people from different locations can easily meet/communicate
- There may be more flexibility with appointment times, frequency and duration of sessions
- Services can continue when It Is not safe to see you In person
- Services can continue If you or your therapist are Isolating or If you are In a lockdown
It may feel a little daunting to begin with but we are here to answer any questions you might have. We want to collaborate with you and encourage you to let us know what is and isn’t working well in your telehealth sessions.
Have a go, trust your therapist and enjoy connecting with us from the comfort and safety of your home.
How do I access speech pathology telehealth?
There are a variety of funding options available at National 360 depending on a person’s individual circumstances. The easiest way to explore your options, and assess your eligibility is to discuss your circumstances with our customer service team.
You can find out more about our speech pathology services by contacting us on 1300 340 440.
Or if you are ready to make a referral click here.
Telehealth Is supported by Speech Pathology Australia. You can view their position statement here.
A summary of evidence from systematic reviews can be found here.