Sustaining allied health telehealth services beyond the rapid response to COVID-19 : Learning from patient and staff experiences at a large quaternary hospital

Journal article


Cottrell, Michelle, Burns, Clare L., Jones, Amber, Chan, Ann, Young, Adrienne, Sam, Sonia, Cruickshank, Mark and Pateman, Kelsey. (2021). Sustaining allied health telehealth services beyond the rapid response to COVID-19 : Learning from patient and staff experiences at a large quaternary hospital. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare. 27(10), pp. 615-624. https://doi.org/10.1177/1357633X211041517
AuthorsCottrell, Michelle, Burns, Clare L., Jones, Amber, Chan, Ann, Young, Adrienne, Sam, Sonia, Cruickshank, Mark and Pateman, Kelsey
Abstract

The patient, clinician and administration staff perspectives of telehealth (specifically videoconferencing) services provided by Allied Health Professions (AHP) at a large quaternary hospital were explored. The purpose was to understand stakeholders’ perceptions of the service during initial COVID-19 restrictions and examine factors that influenced the implementation and sustained use of telehealth. A sequential mixed-methods approach was undertaken. Stage 1 involved surveys completed by patients (n = 109) and clinicians (n = 66) who received and provided care via telehealth, respectively, across six AHP departments. Stage 2 involved focus groups with clinicians (n = 24) and administrative staff (n = 13) to further examine implementation and sustainability factors.

All participant groups confirmed that telehealth was a valid service model and valued the benefits it afforded, particularly during COVID-19 restrictions. Both patients and clinicians reported that not all AHP services could be delivered via telehealth and preferred a blended model of telehealth and in-person care. Increased administrative staff assistance was needed to support growing telehealth demand. Main factors to address are the need to expand AHP telehealth models and workforce/patient training, improve workflow processes and enhance technical support.

Despite rapid implementation, telehealth experiences were overall positive. Study findings are being used to generate solutions to enhance and sustain AHP telehealth services.

Keywordsallied health; telehealth; COVID-19; implementation; sustainability; quaternary care
Year2021
JournalJournal of Telemedicine and Telecare
Journal citation27 (10), pp. 615-624
PublisherSAGE Publications
ISSN1357-633X
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/1357633X211041517
PubMed ID34726993
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85118479401
PubMed Central IDPMC8564219
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
Page range615-624
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online02 Nov 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted05 Aug 2021
Deposited29 Nov 2022
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