Telehealth, Teletherapy / Online Therapy?
“Telehealth involves the use of telecommunications and virtual technology to deliver health care outside of traditional health-care facilities.” (World Health Organization)
Quite simply, Telehealth at Q Enrichment Center is the sum of the three points below:
- The provision of early intervention and rehabilitation healthcare services (assessments and therapy for speech therapy and occupational therapy).
- While our therapist and client are in different locations.
- Using video conferencing technology.
At Q Enrichment, as we provide speech therapy and occupational therapy services, we like to call it Teletherapy or online therapy (for ease).
Who Can Benefit from Teletherapy / Online Therapy?
Teletherapy / online therapy for speech therapy and occupational therapy is not suitable for everyone. Our therapists will use their clinical reasoning to determine whether an individual will benefit from Teletherapy / online therapy (should they request it).
What Are the Benefits of Teletherapy / Online Therapy?
- Teletherapy / online therapy provides accessibility to therapy services for everyone that does not have the ability to come for an in-person speech therapy or occupational therapy session.
- Those that were already receiving therapy in-person, can now continue to receive the care they need, through Teletherapy / online therapy (during this time of social distancing).
- Teletherapy / online therapy for speech therapy and occupational therapy can save time and money.
- Saving the time spent travelling to and from the in-person speech therapy or occupational therapy session.
- Saving on all transportation costs (e.g. petrol, taxi, metro, public transport, etc.) to and from our center.
- As transportation time is saved, potentially not having to take time off from work to receive therapy.
- Teletherapy / online therapy for speech therapy and occupational therapy could help our clients avoid any extra external contact, that may lead to catching a cold, flu or infectious disease. Teletherapy / online therapy would prevent any external contact after leaving their home, to coming to our center, to receiving therapy, to any additional human interaction until they are back home. This is applicable to both our child and adult clients.
- Teletherapy / online therapy for speech therapy and occupational therapy could prevent any complications from preparing and transferring an immobile person to come receive therapy at our center. This could be unsafe should the person helping the immobile person be untrained in safety measures. All the preparing and transferring includes changing their clothes, transferring from the bed to wheelchair and wheelchair to car. All these steps will be done again in reverse order until the immobile person is back in bed. If not done safely and properly, both the immobile person and the person helping can get hurt or injured at any stage of preparing or transferring. Almost all the preparing and transferring could be avoided should Teletherapy / online therapy be available.
- Teletherapy / online therapy for speech therapy and occupational therapy can be used in conjunction with therapy conducted in-person, in order to optimally meet our client’s needs.
How to Start Teletherapy / Online Therapy?
- Similar to speech therapy and occupational therapy conducted in-person / face to face, Teletherapy / online therapy will ONLY be provided if it is determined to be beneficial to the individual.
- Our speech therapist and / or occupational therapist will contact you to obtain case history and necessary details in order to prepare for the assessment.
- Once case history is obtained, our therapist will determine whether a speech therapy and / or occupational therapy assessment can be conducted via video conferencing.
- Either the assessment is completed with our therapist or we will require the report(s) from a previous assessment.
- Our Center Executive will contact the client or caregiver to ascertain what items can be used in the home for Teletherapy / online therapy.
- The process will be explained and a consent form will be sent by email to be signed and returned, prior to initiating Teletherapy / online therapy for speech therapy and / or occupational therapy.
- Once that is done, our Center Executive will arrange a Zoom appointment with you for the Teletherapy / online therapy session.
- The Teletherapy / online therapy session will be conducted using online activities as well as items in the home. Our speech therapist and / or occupational therapist may require items to be purchased for the Teletherapy / online therapy sessions.
- We are using technology and malfunctions do occur. If a session becomes distorted, we will try and reconnect. If the connection remains distorted, the session will be rescheduled.
What Do You Need for Teletherapy / Online Therapy?
- Laptop, desktop or a tablet with a working built-in camera and microphone.
- External webcam and headset if required or more beneficial for Teletherapy / online therapy.
- High-speed internet connection (no less than 3 MB).
- A facilitator to assist and supervise in sessions.
- A private room to have sessions.
- A chair and a table.
- Device should be charged or plugged-in.
Is My Information Safe?
- Yes, we use a secure platform to store all clients’ information using password protection.
- We do not share any of our clients’ details with anyone unless our client requests or provides consent for the information to be shared.
- Our Teletherapy / online therapy sessions are directly video conferenced with our speech therapist or occupational therapist and our client.
- Every Teletherapy / online therapy session for speech therapy and occupational therapy will occur in a private room to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of our clients, as well as to prevent disruptions.
Telehealth in More Detail
Telehealth can be conducted using technology (e.g. video, audio, emails, games, etc.) to interact with a client. The branch of Telehealth where speech and occupational therapy fall into is called Telerehabilitation. Some articles have even broken it down into TeleOT, Telespeech, Telepractice, Teletherapy, etc. Stated at the top, as we provide speech and occupational therapy, we at Q Enrichment like to call it Teletherapy or online therapy (for ease).
Types of Telehealth Services
- Description – Real-time contact / interaction between our speech therapist and occupational therapist and our client served.
- Technology Used – Videoconferencing, virtual interactions using applications (‘apps’), video-calls, etc.
- Example – Our speech therapist and / or occupational therapist observes our client served during activity engagement and provides education to promote independence and prevent further decline in function, via video conferencing.
- Description – Delayed interaction or feedback between our speech therapist and / or occupational therapist and our client served. Our therapist receives information, stores it and delivers feedback.
- Technology Used – Videos, photos, electronic mail, cell / mobile phones, automated messaging services (e.g. SMS and WhatsApp), etc.
- Example – Our client served completes a self-report measure and sends it to our speech therapist and / or occupational therapist via email for review. Our therapist then provides appropriate feedback, in terms of further assessment or adaptations to the treatment plan.