We are pleased to offer telehealth as an option for your child to receive services. We know that you may live in an area where you aren’t able to access the care you want, or you may have to miss an appointment due to transportation or travel, by having the option to access services virtually, you won’t have to miss out on quality care.
In addition, often families have some simple questions regarding if their child is on track or for exercises they could use to help them advance to the next skill. This may not require skilled physical therapy but rather some consultation. We are also able to offer this service virtually as well.
What is Telehealth?
Telehealth is the delivery of health care services and health care related information using equipment that can allow for communication between patients and healthcare providers. This work is done using technology like internet, satellite, Iphones, or smart phones. The use of telehealth services can take place in many situations, including hospitals, clinics, homes and nursing facilities, just to name a few.
Why am I being asked to use Telehealth?
Although Starfish Therapies prefers to see families in person, the current COVID outbreak has made it challenging for many families to come to the office for physical therapy services. We are offering telehealth services at this time to ensure continuity of care which is critical for many of our families.
Is Telehealth safe?
Telehealth is a safe and an effective way to extend the delivery of our services, especially at a time like this. Guidelines exist for telehealth to ensure safety and quality. Therapists are held to the same standards of care through a telehealth visit as an in-person visit. Similarly, the same standards for privacy and confidentiality for an in-person visit apply to telehealth visits.
In order to make the telehealth session safe and effective for children, please bear in mind a few additional requirements:
- All telehealth consults will require the presence and participation of an adult or guardian alongside the child
- Therapists will provide specific instructions for activities to be performed and parental assistance is required to ensure the child can perform the activity safely.
Do health plans pay for telehealth services?
Health plans are covering a wide variety of healthcare services available through telehealth. To find out if your plan covers telehealth services, please feel free to contact your health plan. Starfish Therapies is also reviewing all payer contracts to ensure that services we provide will be covered.
Do I need special equipment to have a telehealth consult?
No, all you need is a laptop or computer with audio/video and high-speed internet. Please see attached check-in instructions from the telehealth platform for step-by-step instructions.
How long will the telehealth consult be?
The telehealth consult can be for the same duration as your in-clinic visit or shorter, depending on the circumstance. Please set aside ten minutes prior to your very first tele-consult for a brief test. This is to ensure that the therapist can test the set-up of the system with you and ensure that no time is wasted with set-up during the actual consult.
Some questions you may have related to technology:
Why isn’t my video loading?
You’ll need to check two things here. First, do you have your webcam all set up? If you’re using a mobile device or laptop, chances are you have an integrated camera. If you’re on a desktop computer, you may be using a separate webcam.
Go to your device’s control panel or settings menu and look for your webcam under devices. Test it out to see if it’s working. You could also try opening a video-chat app like Skype to see if the webcam is working correctly.
Second, did you allow the web browser to access your webcam? If you’re using the web app (not the Android or iOS mobile app), your browser will show a pop-up when you first enter the virtual visit. The pop-up will ask you to allow the browser to access your webcam. Click yes to allow. If you don’t see that, try refreshing the page.
Why is the video quality bad?
Low video quality is usually caused by a poor internet connection. You should have a minimum internet connection of 10mbps to do a virtual visit. To test your internet connection speed, visit speedtest.net and press start. If the test says your speed is under 10mbps and you’re using wifi, try using a wired internet connection or restarting your router.
Why isn’t my audio working?
We know it sounds silly, but is your speaker volume turned up? We’ve all done that before. You can always play some music or open up a videoclip on YouTube to test your sound.
Why can’t my therapist hear me?
Check your microphone. Is it working? Like the webcam, you’re probably dealing with an integrated microphone if you’re on a mobile device or laptop. If you’re on your computer, you should have an external microphone plugged in.
Go to your device panel or settings and make sure your microphone is set-up. You could also open a simple voice recorder app (most mobile devices or computers come with one, like Quicktime) and do a test recording.
The visit froze – what should I do now?
Chances are, your internet connection dropped. Try refreshing the webpage – usually that will help. If you’re still having issues, check on your internet connection at speedtest.net.