What is it: Virtual health services include one or more of the following methods of communication: telephone call, online video conferencing, use of a chat feature on a computer or mobile device, or a combination of these.
Why use it: Telehealth can be a viable means of service delivery provided client safety is maintained, and in particular when the absence of continued or necessary treatment may be detrimental to client health and/or recovery. This includes:
- the need to mitigate disease, prevent infection or transmission of communicable disease between themselves, and the healthcare practitioners, other client(s) or people in their community to the best of their ability;
- the inability of the kinesiologist to meet the scheduling, travel or location requirements of client(s) due to the inability of a client and/or kinesiologist to travel and meet, due to inclement weather, remote location, client immobility, or other factors.
Telehealth services can be provided solely for certain types of services or may be integrated with in-person treatment/care where the client and kinesiologist meet virtually using a computer, smart phone or tablet for some but not all sessions. Telehealth service delivery can be appropriate provided the kinesiologist operates within their scope of practice, competency, and abides by the BCAK's code of ethics, professional practice standards and other guiding documents.
What are the limitations I should consider: Kinesiologists must have at their disposal, the necessary tools and resources to properly screen clients to determine if and when services are appropriate. This includes determining when;
- service can be delivered safely and effectively and when it is not appropriate, and in-person care should be utilized
- service can be delivered confidentially, and
- service can and cannot be delivered confidentially, without the risk of personal or personal health information being exposed to the public.
If you are a client or a Third-Party Insurer, wishing to assess the suitability of kinesiology virtual/telehealth services for yourself or a client, you should ensure your Kinesiologist explains to your satisfaction they are:
- Obtaining your informed consent - by presenting and explaining an informed consent document which clearly defines how, why, when and what virtual Telehealth services are or will be provided, how your information is being protected and if sessions are being recorded. In addition, the Consent form must stipulate that you have been offered a copy of the form, understand the information contained and agree (by signing) to indicate acceptance of the terms and conditions.
- Addressing your safety concerns and needs - by ensuring an appropriate assessment of your current health condition, and your needs, can be conducted virtually, that treatment and exercise prescription services can be provided safely and that there is no additional risk of injury or death from a fall, inappropriate exercise technique or other factor that would not be encountered in the clinic/in-person treatment setting. This should include providing you with a recommended care/treatment plan that is reviewed with you, and which you agree or authorize, prior to any Telehealth services being delivered, recognizing that not all services can be effectively delivered via Telehealth.