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TELETHERAPY

Endorsed by the American Speech and Language Association (ASHA), Telepractice is the “application of telecommunications technology to the delivery of speech language pathology and audiology professional services at a distance by linking clinician to client or clinician to clinician for assessment, intervention, and/or consultation”.  Simply stated, Telepractice represents a therapeutic intervention for articulation and/or language that’s delivered via computer connection as an alternative to the traditional the face-to-face method.  Transcending distance, access and demand- PTS has spent the last two decades earning its reputation for offering the latest in technology and creating bridges to reach all students.  The emerging modality of Telepractice is no exception.  

As recipients of the Edison Award for Innovation, invention has been the hallmark of PTS’ impact on the education marketplace.  The experience of having developed technology to create industry-standard metrics for performance, poised PTS to refine and explore alternative modes of service delivery.  Telepractice leverages the company’s inherent cloud-based advantages in a way that comprehensively meets the needs of students . . . everywhere.  Whether the nature of the need exists due to remote location, disability, therapist shortages, budget considerations or truancy, PTS pairs highly skilled therapists with user-friendly, streamlined digital platforms.  Our clear organizational objective has been a focus on removing all barriers, physical and otherwise, to student supports.

Benefits of Telepractice

Students today use computers as part of their learning process, so the transition to receiving therapy on a computer is not a big adjustment. Because the therapy session is live and highly individualized, the benefits are even greater.  As an added perk, sessions can be recorded and replayed for the student/parents/legal guardians providing opportunities for review, practice, feedback, and carry-over outside of the school environment.
  1. It’s cost effective.
  2. It’s fun, interactive, and allows kids to bond and forget about their worries.
  3. It allows easy assessment and analysis of progress in terms of speech and other social aspects such as ease of interaction.
  4. It’s a flexible system and can easily be incorporated into any school district.
  5. It’s convenient for the school, the teletherapists, and the parents since no travel is involved.
  6. It can be just as effective as face to face speech therapy.

Roles and Responsibilities (Based on ASHA Guidelines) 

Telepractice is an appropriate model of service delivery for audiologists and SLPs.

Roles and responsibilities for audiologists and SLPs in the provision of services via telepractice include:
  • understanding and applying appropriate models of technology used to deliver services;
  • understanding the appropriate specifications and operations of technology used in delivery of services;
  • calibrating and maintaining clinical instruments and telehealth equipment;
  • selecting clients who are appropriate for assessment and intervention services via telepractice;
  • selecting and using assessments and interventions that are appropriate to the technology being used and that take into consideration client and disorder variables;
  • being sensitive to cultural and linguistic variables that affect the identification, assessment, treatment, and management of communication disorders/differences in individuals receiving services via telepractice;
  • training and using support personnel appropriately when delivering services;
  • being familiar with the available tools and methods and applying them to evaluate the effectiveness of services provided and to measure outcomes;
  • maintaining appropriate documentation, including informed consent for use of telepractice and documentation of the telepractice encounter;
  • being knowledgeable about and compliant with existing rules and regulations regarding telepractice, including security and privacy protections, reimbursement for services, and licensure, liability, and malpractice concerns; and
  • collaborating with physicians and other practitioners for timely referral and follow-up services.

​Telepractice is constantly evolving. Ongoing education and training is required to maintain expertise and familiarity with changes in technology and potential clinical applications. Web technology allows clinicians to engage clients through virtual environments and other personally salient activities (Towey, 2012a).
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