Telehealth Services

What is ‘telehealth’?

Telehealth is a term that refers to the delivery of health care services and support via any telecommunication technology.  A telehealth service can consist of video conferencing, phone calls, emails and text or other direct messages.

Occupational Therapy via Telehealth can be successfully used for many situations including assessment, direct therapy, parent education, teacher education and support, monitoring of home programs and problem solving.  This is often the way health services are delivered in remote and rural communities. 

The Spark Therapy Services will be using a telehealth platform called Coviu for Allied Health - a telehealth platform, developed as a start-up of the CSIRO.  Coviu is a secure network, ensuring end-to-end encryption, privacy and confidentiality throughout consultations.  None of your data is stored on this platform.  Families do not have to sign up to Coviu or download software in order to use it. For more information about Coviu visit: www.coviu.com/about

What can I expect?
  • Your Occupational Therapist will be in touch to offer you the opportunity to transfer your clinic or community visit to a telehealth session.  You may wish to keep the appointment time you already have or adjust this, depending on your timetable and commitments.   This will give you a chance to experience this mode of service delivery. 
     

  • If you would like a telehealth video session, you will be sent an invitation to your child’s appointment via email.  When you click on this link, you will be welcomed into the online ‘clinic room’ by your OT. 
     

  • You and your child will both need to be present for the Occupational Therapy telehealth consultation – just as you would be if you were attending our clinic. 
     

  • The Coviu platform includes the following features to make Occupational Therapy telehealth sessions engaging and fun.
     

  • Video Link - You will have a video link to your child’s therapist so you can interact in real time.    
     

  • Document sharing – which can be annotated by your OT, you or your child – to allow interactive learning.
     

  • Screen sharing – so you can watch videos that relate to your child’s OT goals together.  For example, social skills, educational or mindfulness videos.  These can be paused to allow opportunities to reflect, learn and share ideas. 
     

  • Whiteboard feature – to allow you to draw pictures, share ideas and summarise information.  The whiteboard feature is interactive so both the OT, you or your child can add creative touches to images. 

 

Your OT will:
  • At the commencement of the telehealth service, your Occupational Therapist (OT) will discuss ways of working together, that will work for both you and your child when using the telehealth model.  Your OT will ask you how you would like your telehealth service to look, what you would like to gain and explore the practicalities of how it will work.   
     

  • Send you through a session plan prior to the appointment, including any resources that will be helpful to prepare.  We will only suggest practical equipment and resources that you are likely to have in your home, e.g. paper, textas, scissors, pretend play resources.
     

  • Engage your child in therapy activities, providing encouragement, motivation and positive reinforcement and feedback. 
     

  • Provide coaching and guidance to you about ways to support your child’s skills, development and participation.
     

  • Continue to provide a written summary of the goal directed activities and key strategies from the session to continue with at home.  This is important so that you can support your child’s practice, confidence and skill development in between OT sessions.    
     

  • Continue to share information with the team with your consent – to ensure strategies can be integrated across different settings and working together to support your child’s wellbeing and development. 

What do I need to do?
  • Help your child prepare for the session and this new way of working.  We have a Telehealth Social Story you can download and read together.  
     

  • Watch this short video that will orientate you to Coviu - the telehealth platform we are using 
     

  • Set yourself up with a laptop or ipad in a quiet space away from the distractions of family activity.  
     

  • Work in a space without bright light or sunlight behind you- as this will create a glare in your video image.  
     

  • Set yourself up in a place where the internet connection is strong - to ensure good connectivity, audio and video quality.  
     

  • Sit with your child and participate in the session together.  Coaching and encouraging them as well as having fun!   

What are the benefits of telehealth?
  • Evidence suggests that telehealth can be as effective as face-to-face sessions.
     

  • Telehealth allows for the highest level of social distancing – which is absolutely essential in the midst of a pandemic. 
     

  • Allows continuity of therapy services and some structure to your child’s week. 
     

  • No travel is required.
     

  • The activities are carried out in your own environment with your child’s toys and equipment.   Integrating activities into your daily life in this way, allows your child more opportunities to practice. 
     

  • Allows the opportunity to develop your skills and capacity: During a telehealth session, your therapist becomes your coach – they will watch what is happening, problem solve with you and provide feedback and ideas. 
     

  • Interacting over a screen may be a motivator for some children and more comfortable than an in person interaction. 

For further information on our Telehealth Occupational Therapy sessions, please refer to our Telehealth Policy and Procedure document.