Practice Transition Support

To help practitioners navigate the uncertainty and disruption as a result of COVID-19, we have developed a series of practice transition resources. We understand that these times are affecting everyone differently, and so three different packs have been prepared to help assist with your current situation.

Practice Still Open: Practising Infection Control Measures

Practice Supporting Telehealth


Practice Closing Temporarily

 

 

Please note that these resources have been prepared to assist the entire occupational therapy community through this time and can be freely shared through your networks.

Practice Still Open: Practising Infection Control Measures

Determining Relative Risk 
We advise members to continue to work within your scope of practice whilst implementing the highest possible health and safety measures for your staff, yourselves, your clients and the community at large. Occupational therapists working outside the hospital system and directly with clients play a vital role in keeping clients well in the community, and importantly at this time, keeping them from hospital admissions.

We ask that you continually conduct and update risk assessments, utilise telehealth where you are able to, stay abreast of how COVID-19 is escalating in your area, and heed any changes to instructions from the Department of Health.

You should also consider the environmental context of COVID-19 in your reasoning as to whether a client appointment should proceed or not. Some considerations include:

  • The risk to yourself and the vulnerability of those who you are in immediate contact with
  • Up to date advice from the federal government
  • Up to date advice from your state or territory government
  • The vulnerability of your client
  • Access to appropriate resources
  • Your practice setting

COVID-19 Vulnerable Populations
The Department of Health has identified the following people are most at risk of serious illness as a result of COVID-19:

  • People aged over 70
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged over 50
  • People with chronic health conditions
  • People who are immunocompromised (e.g.cancer)
  • People in group residential settings
  • Very young children and babies (risk to this group remains unclear)
  • Pregnant women

Please stay connected with OTA for further information as we navigate this changing landscape together.

Email Template for Practitioners to Consumers
To help practitioners communicate changes to their practice as a result of COVID-19, an email/letter template has been drafted that you may consider. Please note the highlighted sections to be reviewed and updated before sharing. Download the email template here.

Social Media Graphics
These designs can be used alongside emails to consumers, or on social media to provide updates to your practice. Simply right-click on the image to save/download.

Self-care and Mental Health Supports for Consumers
The uncertainty and stress of the current situation can be a lot to process and adapt to—particularly for people who already require additional support. Here are some resources that consumers may find helpful: 

 

Practice Supporting Telehealth

OTA’s Telehealth Guidelines
To support members to practice social distancing and reduce their face-to-face contact, our professional practice team has developed a new resource: Telehealth Guidelines 2020. These guidelines provide a general overview of telehealth, before exploring equipment tips, security, privacy, risk management and more. Access the guidelines here.

  • Telehealth considerations you may want to prepare for include:
    • How can I support my clients to use tele-health?
    • I can't provide my usual intervention to clients, how else can I support them through this time?
      • (i.e. relaxation strategies, sleep, modifying routine to meet new restrictions, developing contingency plans, maintaining engaged in essential and meaningful activity)
    • Can I provide telephone services if my client is unable to use telehealth?
       

Telehealth Check-list: Use this one page check-list to help determine whether you are equipped to and should be providing telehealth service
Telehealth Billing:  Please refer to our telehealth billing information for the latest updates on funding for telehealth services
Coming soon: Telehealth FAQ webinar

Find an OT Now Supports Telehealth
We have updated our Find an OT directory to enable members to promote their telehealth services. When searching for an OT, consumers can opt for telehealth options in their state, or face-to-face options near their suburb. Members can update their details and workplace (i.e. their Find an OT listing) by logging in here

Communicate with Your Clients
As you transition your services to telehealth it is important to clearly communicate the change with your clients.

  • Ensure consistent messaging across all your channels, including social media, your website, emails and mail outs
  • Explain your decision to provide telehealth services
  • Clearly articulate what telehealth is and what you will need the client to prepare for the session
  • Provide information on:
    • How you will be conducting the sessions
    • Your privacy measures and compliance
    • Billing options
    • How clients can book appointments or transition existing bookings

Social Media Graphics
These graphics can be used alongside emails to consumers, or on social media to provide updates to your practice. Simply right-click on the image to save/download.

 

Additional Resources and Links


Practice Closing Temporarily

Email Template for Practitioners to Consumers
While the decision to close a practice is a challenging one for all involved, it can be a necessary step in certain situations. We have prepared an email template as a guide to help practitioners communicate that their practice is closing as a result of COVID-19. Please note the highlighted sections to be reviewed and updated for relevance before sharing. Download the template here.

Business Support Resources
A number of resources exist to assist employers with the change including the Federal Government release of the third stage of its economic plan to support businesses and workers through the coronavirus outbreak. What does this mean for you? Browse our Business Support pages for more information. Sections include:

Communicate with Your Clients
If you have made the decision to temporarily close your practice you will need to communicate this with your clients. It is also important to stay connect and provide regular updates to your clients to maintain these relationships. 

  • Ensure consistent messaging across all your channels including; social media, your website, emails and mail outs
  • Explain your decision to close
  • Provide information on how you will be keeping in touch and what clients need to do if they have existing bookings
  • Stay connected with (and update) consumers regularly. It is important to maintain your relationships throughout your closure to ensure you maintain your client base in the future
  • Provide consumers with alternative options where possible
    • Other telehealth services
    • Government resources

Additional Business Support Resources

Social Media Graphics
These graphics can be used alongside emails to consumers, or on social media to provide updates to your practice. Simply right-click on the image to save/download.

Disclaimer:
Please note that the advice given by Occupational Therapy Australia is of general nature and does not take into account the individual circumstances or risks that may apply to you. Please seek individual expert advice when considering any change to your practice.

The OTA team is working hard to keep our resources as up to date and factual during this time of rapid change. If you believe any of the above information needs attention, please contact us

Last updated: 2 April 2020

 

 

 

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