If you’re considering adding pediatric telehealth to your practice’s offerings, use these 5 easy tips to ensure your first session is a huge success.
Pro Tip: Be Prepared to Partner and Explain More Than In-Person
“While in session, say out-loud what you are thinking in your head. You have to start having those mental conversations externally so that parents understand how you went to point A to point B, and why this would be the next step. Prep yourself before the session for communicating this way as it makes some providers uncomfortable if they now are explaining their once silent magic." - Alisha Delgado, M.A. CCC-SLP
1. Organize Communication
Remote communication has its perks, but it can also present some unique challenges. When sharing information with parents, family, or caregivers, prioritize clear, concise communication. Use teletherapy tools specially designed to make sharing and organizing information easier, but it doesn’t end there. You can beef up your communication efforts with things like:
Regular follow-up emails
Session synopsis documents
Long-term treatment roadmap documents
2. Plan Ahead
Before your first session, devote some time to getting a step ahead. Creating plan outlines and sharing them with family and caretakers is a chance to double-check your treatment and ensure your clients understand what you’ll be covering. Plan outlines don’t have to be massive, in-depth documents; instead, you can outline what you’ll cover with a few simple bullet points.
3. Send Follow-Ups
Questions are common after your remote session -- especially if it’s your first one. To combat confusion, it’s recommended to send follow-up emails after each session. You can structure these to meet the unique needs of each patient, but a few elements are always great to include in after-therapy follow-ups:
Successes and areas for improvement
Completed goals and signs of progress
Goals for the next session
4. Find the Right Spot
It’s crucial that you’re able to clearly communicate with family, caregivers, and patients without interruptions or distractions. Before your first session, find a quiet, relaxing space with a strong internet connection that allows you to focus on providing the best care possible.
It’s also important to encourage your clients to do the same. Creating a comfortable, familiar space for the patient -- stocked with toys and other helpful items -- will help to provide the best possible results.
5. Work Together
Focus on including family, caregivers, and your patient in your teletherapy sessions. An all-inclusive approach to your call will ensure everyone remains engaged, active and ready to help the patient grow and reach their treatment goals! Establishing a communal effort during your first call will set the right precedent right away.