Better Speech and Hearing Month (BSHM) is an Opportune Time to Learn More about the Benefits of Telepractice
Every May, The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association makes BSHM resources available on their website, effectively raising awareness about communication disorders and growing need for more speech language pathology and audiology services in the United States; one of the ways this is being accomplished is via telepratice—a topic that ASHA reports on with positivity and optimism in this informative video:
Increasing the availability of SLP services is something that technology achieves everyday via telepractice; this enables the therapist to dial into a patient’s home and meet them wherever they are! It’s a service delivery method that works for any age group. Young patients are motivated by technology-driven therapy sessions, and older patients respond well to therapy via computers, as so many are used to communicating with their children and grandchildren this way.
Breaking Down the Two Major Types of Telepractice
Other terms for “telepractice” may include “teleaudiology”, “telespeech”, and “speech teletherapy”. Speech language pathologists should note the differences between these two types of telepratice:
- Synchronous: This service delivery method is client/patient interactive and conducted with interactive audio and video connection in real time. This creates an in-person experience similar to that achieved in a face-to-face therapy session. Synchronous services may connect a client/patient or group of clients/patients with a clinician, or they may include consultation between a clinician and a specialist.
- Asynchronous: This is a “store and forward” service delivery method, wherein images or data are captured and transmitted (i.e., stored and forwarded) for viewing or interpretation by a professional. Examples include transmission of voice clips, audiologic testing results, or outcomes of independent client/patient practice.
SLPs Successfully Providing Teletherapy Are Improving Access and Decreasing Costs for Patients
Many SLPs who practice teletherapy report research outcomes that are equal to face-to-face delivery models, and say that patient satisfaction is high, adding that the method opens new doors in therapy as it promotes more family involvement and easy access to care. More insurance companies, including Medicare agree with the cost-effectiveness and uncompromised quality of telepractice, and provide coverage for these sessions; the only challenge left for SLPs is when patient relationships cross state lines because this means the therapist must seek SLP licensure in multiple states: the state wherein therapy is being provided, and the state where the patient is receiving it. The ASHAsphere blog has written extensively on a need for SLP license portability, as more schools, nursing homes and hospitals experience shortages in audiology and speech pathology services.
There is No Better Time than “Better Speech and Hearing Month” to Celebrate Technological Advances for SLPs!
This May, may you continue to excel in speech language pathology jobs during BSHM Month and throughout the rest of the year. When it comes to restoring the gift of communication to your patients, only highly trained SLPs deliver the articulation, language. and fluency necessary to succeed. Call 1-800-617-0608 or apply online to find high paying speech therapy jobs
that match your skill set today!