For people living with disabilities, video consultations can improve access to a range of different treatments and models of care.
healthdirect Video Call allows patients, carers and health professionals to attend appointments from wherever is most convenient and makes it easier for teams of clinicians to collaborate in patient care. Key benefits of the platform for disability services include:
Established in 1945, Cerebral Palsy Alliance (CPA) provides therapy, life skills programs, equipment and support for people affected by cerebral palsy and other neurological and physical disabilities.
CPA started using healthdirect Video Call for patient therapy in 2019 but really ramped up usage with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated local lockdowns in order to continue providing services.
Michele Rooney is a client services coordinator at CPA. “When the pandemic hit we had a lot of very nervous and anxious clients who were worried about their children’s health, but we quickly found using healthdirect Video Call was a great solution to a big problem. Our confidence grew week by week because we could see positive results,” Michele says.
In the past 12 months, CPA has done more than 25,000 consultations via healthdirect Video Call and now have more than 380 service providers providing healthcare to CPA clients via the platform – this tremendous success has led to CPA adopting healthdirect Video Call as part of ongoing everyday service delivery.
Claire Smart is a physiotherapist with CPA. Claire likes that healthdirect Video Call facilitates uninterrupted treatment despite changing circumstances.
“One patient’s family has been in lockdown for a very long time as he’s been having chemotherapy, but he can still continue his physiotherapy from home or from hospital using healthdirect Video Call. Another family with twins moved interstate but didn’t have a physiotherapist lined up. It was easy to continue their therapy via healthdirect Video Call until they found a new therapist,” explains Claire.
healthdirect Video Call allows up to six different parties to be in the same call. “It’s great for chatting to the whole family or including doctors or other therapists. There is much better communication between the team,” Claire says.
At CPA, each new client attends an initial intake meeting which can take up to 1.5 hours. Prior to 2020, these were always conducted in-person.
“healthdirect Video Call is now our preferred and recommended method for the initial intake meeting. It saves time for the client while still allowing us to see their face, which tells us so much,” Michele explains.
Christine Vasiliou is an occupational therapist with CPA. Christine enjoys that healthdirect Video Call is well suited to shorter, more frequent sessions, something not always possible when people travel to attend.
“We used to always do a minimum one-hour session when people had to travel, to make it worth the trip, but with a video consultation we can do a half-hour appointment if that’s what suits the person’s goals,” says Christine.
Claire has been particularly impressed doing physiotherapy for babies via healthdirect Video Call.
“Parents take on the hands-on therapy role with my instruction and it is great as it builds their confidence to do it themselves. Families love not having to get kids ready to travel to a therapy session. It saves them so much time,” Claire says.
Michele has a fourteen-year-old daughter, Sienna, with cerebral palsy and has witnessed the uptake of healthdirect Video Call from the perspectives of both a service provider and carer. “As a parent I am now a very strong advocate of healthdirect Video Call. My daughter loves being on the screen and loves being online. All her speech therapy is now via video consulting and her occupational therapy and physiotherapy sessions are alternating – one in-person, one using healthdirect Video Call.”
The new normal is becoming a mixed mode of practice, with the situation determining whether a video consultation or in-person consultation is most appropriate.
Preparation is key to success. Set up correctly, healthdirect Video Call technology works seamlessly, facilitating an uninterrupted session.
Claire says, “I let parents know before a session what we’ll need – a rolled up towel, a few coins and a ball. It’s good to have a written action plan that everyone can follow.”
“Using healthdirect Video Call makes it easy for me to take screen shots to include in the client’s home plan for the following fortnight,” she adds.
Christine finds that using Video Call supports a more efficient workflow.
“It’s easy to write notes during the video consultation and attend to any follow ups afterwards because you already have your computer up and running. I use multiple screens so I can see my client on one screen and access other resources and share information from the other screen,” Christine says.
The platform has a range of in-built tools which make it simple to communicate with clients or incorporate different mediums in a session such as a chatbox, presentation slides or even a YouTube video. Ahead of a session, configurable audio messages allow communication with clients in the healthdirect Video Call virtual waiting room.
“I use screen sharing quite a bit and the whiteboard is really good for explaining physiotherapy concepts or simply playing noughts and crosses with a client. I’ve also developed some interactive PowerPoint slides, where the client chooses one and that tells them what the next exercise is,” says Claire.
Browse the rest of the Resource Centre for how-to information about healthdirect Video Call.