Welcome to today’s discussion at Posity. We have invited have Faz Mohitian, the director of Posity. Thank you so much for joining today’s session. We are excited to hear about Posity journey to Telehealth and how Telehealth has brought more access to Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy.
How did Posity First Start Telehealth?
Well, our team had started Telehealth right before the Covid-19 pandemic. It is to avoid a long waiting list for our participants since our therapists were fully booked. The long waiting list would cause setbacks; affecting our participant’s therapy sessions. To avoid the risk of it, this was how we leveraged our therapy sessions to the next level with Telehealth! We were glad that we initiated Telehealth before the pandemic. Covid-19 has taken us by surprise but we were at least prepared for the unforeseen change.
I would say that Telehealth has been one of our best moves forward and the best services we have today. We have had a large number of our participants shifting to Telehealth due to the many benefits since its initiation. Some of our participants preferred a face-to-face therapy session, yet Telehealth was still a successful shift for us during the pandemic. We have also been receiving more enquiries on our Telehealth as well as our NDIS services – Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy. This has allowed us to support more wonderful NDIS Participants through Telehealth during the pandemic.
What is Telehealth? How Has it Helped the NDIS Participants?
Even though some may be familiar with ‘Telehealth’, many are still unaware of its full scope. Telehealth can take many forms. Generally, it refers to any form of medical care delivered by technology as a whole. Telehealth has commonly widely known among health care professionals treating their patients via the internet. The twenty-first-century medical service can often be received by Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists and Allied Health professionals in general. Telehealth immediately skyrocketed and became an important option for all NDIS Participants when the Covid-19 hit.
We can be honest that the pandemic will be with us for quite some time. As a leading NDIS provider, we had to do what was right and best for all our fellow NDIS Participants. At that period, our concern was to ensure that all our NDIS Participants continued to receive our best NDIS service – Speech Therapy or Occupational Therapy and support while staying safe at home.
What Are Your Thoughts About Telehealth Benefiting Your Participants?
Just like what we have shared, safety and social distancing were our biggest concerns during the pandemic. However, when it comes to the common concerns among new Telehealth participants on the effectiveness and patient-centredness of our service at Posity, we sternly ensure that our therapists are professionally trained to deliver our telehealth sessions. With this, I am happy to share that we have been receiving many positive feedbacks and progressive improvements from our participants.
For all NDIS Participants who wish to be part of Telehealth, my advice is to search for the right therapist who understands their specific needs. Make sure that they are capable of working well with you or your involved family members during the therapy session as well. This solely because
“The success of Telehealth is not about the technology, but lies on the therapists with their ability to deliver the right and professional support and care to you or your loved ones.”
Aside from the benefits of Telehealth simply becoming an alternative method that is just as effective as participants visiting us in the clinic for a face-to-face session, Telehealth has been very convenient for both participants and therapists. Our Telehealth participants enjoy the flexibility of time and location which provides them with the choice to schedule appointment dates with our therapists easily. All they have to do is to attend the therapy session by accessing our video conferencing software on either Zoom, Google Meet or Coviu.
What to Expect a Therapy Session to Look Like Via Telehealth?
Studies have also shown the positive experience of NDIS participants during the pandemic, especially among children. They have been gradually improving through Telehealth! And yes, there are some differences between how therapies through Telehealth and face-to-face are implemented.
We recently shared our Telehealth experiences and discovered environment plays an essential role for children. The best and most natural setting for therapy is where children are usually present. Children’s natural setting is often at home or grandparents home.
Is it easier for children to do Telehealth?
When therapists engage with children in their natural setting, it is also easy for parents. They do not need to pack stuff for their children during their therapy sessions in the clinic. All they need to do is wait for their children’s appointment and access their technology at home. Moreover, children are more in control of their comfortable spaces than in the clinics.
The best therapeutic impact happens when both therapists and parents or caregivers are with the child. Since both parties will be present to understand, examine and witness the child’s development – How he speaks and reacts differently. Some partnership between parents and therapists can then take place, and decide how we could strategize the best way to support the child is at home. By implementing some therapeutic tactics and tweaking a child’s play routine or home routine, these routines will increase his participation at home with his family.
Are there any disadvantages during your telehealth sessions with participants?
I am glad that you touched on every aspect of Telehealth. Yes, I think there are several challenges to reflect upon when introducing new NDIS Participants to Telehealth.
Traditionally, conducting therapy sessions involves face-to-face practice among therapists and participants. Telehealth can be distressing for participants who are not used to the digital approach to conducting therapy sessions. This often occurs to our elderly NDIS Participants, as most of them have concerns about the technical side of setting up their devices. However, these concerns of our fellow participants are not an obstacle as we have our team of health professionals ready to offer our assistance through phone calls or emails on the instructions and guidelines on how participants should set up their devices.
I noticed some disadvantages that affect the participants’ experience in their environment. Having siblings or pets around may interrupt the session as they may create unwanted distractions during the therapy. The lack of privacy to discuss private concerns can negatively impact their progress. These disadvantages that I have shared are good opportunities for therapists and parents to improve. NDIS Participants and their family members should reflect on their daily lives and the surrounding environment for a positive change.
As a leading NDIS provider, tell us about your team and Posity’s NDIS services?
Our team shares a wealth of clinical and practical experience in Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy and Specialist Disability Accommodation. Our registered therapists possess both the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and Occupational Therapy Australia / Speech Pathology Australia. Therefore, it is our commitment to provide therapeutic outcomes that are goal-directed. We converge our focus based on the current evidence, best practice principles, and the most important among participants.