Guiding principles for telehealth

How do you know if a telehealth session is appropriate for your patient? Are you prepared for the session? Below we have outlined some overarching principles for telehealth to assist you these decisions.

There are 6 factors you should consider when deciding if a telehealth session is appropriate for your patient. They are:

  1. Patient factors: Is the patient open and agreeable to telehealth sessions?
  2. Physiotherapist factors: do you feel confident and knowledgeable in your ability to delivery care via telehealth?
  3. Technology: does everyone have technology literacy (e.g. understand platform), necessary equipment (e.g. computer, iPad) and connectivity for an effective session?
  4. Safety: Is the patient safe to undertake telehealth? Are they at risk of falling or further injury without direct supervision? Consider asking a friend or family member to assist.
  5. Additional Impairments: does the patient have an impairment that may compromise the quality of a telehealth session (i.e. hearing or vision impairment)
  6. Location setup: Is the patients’ environment suitable for telehealth, including space and privacy?

Safer Care Victoria has also designed a tool to guide clinicians and patients regarding decisions about appropriateness of telehealth. Below you will find this toolkit that may help you with your decision making as a clinician.