Rehabilitation is about pushing patients to their limit, in an effort to get them to their next level of care. However, certain situations make the treatment of homecare patients less than desirable. How would you like to be able to provide speech therapy without the constraints of location, cost, and accessibility? Meet telepractice, which is a method of delivering speech therapy online using a computer and camera set up in a client’s home. A telepractice session occurs in real time as a face-to-face meeting with the clinician.
Telepractice was approved by American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) as an appropriate service delivery in 2005. ASHA’s position is that “telepractice is an appropriate model of service delivery for the professions of speech-language pathology [and audiology]. Telepractice may be used to overcome barriers of access to services caused by distance, unavailability of specialists and/or sub-specialists, and impaired mobility” (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, “Speech-Language Pathologists Providing Clinical Services via Telepractice: Position Statement,” 2005).
Benefits of Telepractice:
- Reduced Costs. Providing online speech therapy eliminates costs associated with travel time or mileage. In addition, it decreases absences due to poor weather conditions or sickness. It also decreases expenses for clients who commute long distances to reach your practice.
- Easier access. Clients who don’t have access to transportation or have challenged mobility may be more motivated to attend speech therapy online.
- Natural environment. It allows practitioners to meet their clients in their natural environment, making speech therapy more functional by including family/caregivers and the client’s real life situations.
Telepractice has the potential to significantly improve access to speech-language pathology services. As models of clinical service delivery continue to change and new technologies emerge, telepractice services will continue to evolve and expand. In turn, SLPs will need to acquire the necessary technical and clinical skills to practice telepractice competently, ethically, and securely for the benefit of their clients and families.
If you are a Speech Language-Pathologist looking for a new opportunity, Centra Healthcare can help you find a travel, contract or full time position nationwide. Contact one of our Strategic Search Consultants today or call 800-535-0076.