How the results of a telehealth audit tool and confidence survey were used to strengthen allied health telehealth capability in a metropolitan hospital

Mrs Rae Parker1, Dr Liisa Laakso2, Raymond Kopeshke1

1Mater Health, Brisbane, Australia, 2Mater Research, Brisbane, Australia

Background
Pre-COVID-19, a metropolitan hospital allied health (AH) service commenced a project to improve telehealth (TH) services. We describe how we used the results of an audit tool and staff confidence survey to map AH practice capability during peak COVID-19 telehealth service delivery and again 6 months later.

Methods
A novel audit tool and staff confidence survey was developed to answer two questions:

  1. Are organisational, departmental and practitioner requirements being achieved when delivering telehealth services?
  2. Are AH staff confident to meet requirements delivering telehealth services?

The audit tool was developed pre-pandemic using then limited telehealth guidelines and by referring to our hospital requirements. The audit tool findings were reviewed using an Impact and Severity Risk Rating Matrix based on the modified Health Failure Modes, Effects Analysis (HFMEA). The survey was developed to map (1) effects of ongoing TH quality improvement, (2) AH staff confidence to use TH and (3) confidence to use TH clinically to achieve outcomes.

Discussion
Following a Plan, Do, Study, Act cycle, the initial findings highlighted several high and medium impact risks. We made recommendations and implemented initiatives including the development of an Allied Health Telehealth Practice Guide covering operational and governance factors, need to implement an alternative TH platform, and need to develop AH-specific instructions and guidance for successful and confident TH practice. A follow up audit and survey after six months demonstrated intended and unintended benefits of our interventions.


Biography:

Rae’s primary role is to assist with improving the capability and efficiency of allied health service delivery. Rae has a background in physiotherapy, project management, business improvement, service management and has a post graduate certificate in Commerce. Rae commenced work at the Mater in November 2016.

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