Our telehealth decision tool is designed to guide clinicians to make decisions in partnership with consumers about using telehealth (video or telephone) in their clinical care.
The decision to use telehealth practice remains with the clinician and the consumer receiving care.
Whether you are new to telehealth or have used it over recent months, this tool will help you support consumer choice and improved care and prompts you to consider your patient’s:
- condition and mobility
- privacy and safety
- support networks
- comfort level
- technical know how.
Guiding principles for using telehealth
- Telehealth is not intended to replace face-to-face care in all circumstances. Instead, it provides an alternative method to provide safe, appropriate and accessible clinical care.
- Video calls should be used where possible to support clinician/patient interaction and assessment.
- Clinicians and those who support appointment scheduling should ensure the consumer understands, agrees to and is comfortable with telehealth as part of their care.
- A consumer may need support (e.g. with communication or technology) to participate in a telehealth appointment. Support is best provided by a clinician or family member or carer, located with the consumer.
- Clinicians are encouraged to consider the appropriateness of using telehealth in circumstances where a person may require face-to-face support – for example, in giving a diagnosis for a serious disease or when a physical examination is required and there are no supports available in their location.
- Standard practices around consent and patient identification checks should be completed for telehealth practice. Confirming the person’s location may also support privacy checks and support escalation in the event of an incident.
- Consider privacy and confidentiality in telehealth:
- Ensure the person is in a private and safe place and they have consented to others being present such as their carers, family members or other clinicians.
- Have a pre-planned signal/phrase that may indicate the person is not safe.
- Take measures to reduce the possibility of others not in view listening in to the conversation.
- Ensure you are familiar with your agency’s overarching policies, procedures and local escalation processes when using telehealth.
- Consider processes in the case of a clinical or environmental incident including how to escalate to local or internal supports.
This decision tool was developed in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services and clinical experts.
Last updated 18 Nov 2020
Page last updated: 24 Nov 2020