Getting started with Telepractice
This guide includes basic instructions on how to join a video conference, as well as some FAQs to make your first video call a success.
To prepare, please review the following information before your first video appointment. You may still have questions, so please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
What is Telepractice?
Also known as Telehealth services, online speech therapy, and virtual instruction.
We provide online speech therapy and coaching to our clients using HIPAA/PHIPA compliant video conferencing technology. We offer individualized speech therapy and training for children and adults targeting various treatment areas.
Through online video conferencing, you can meet with your therapist or instructor from your desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device (iOS or Android) – it’s your choice!
Telepractice allows us to connect anywhere with secure and convenient appointments that save you time and hassle. There’s no need to deal with traffic when you can schedule and attend your appointments directly from a laptop or mobile device.
What equipment do I need?
To participate in telepractice appointments from your home, you will need one of the following devices:
- Desktop computer with a webcam, speakers, a 2.5 GHz processor, and 4 GB of RAM or
- Laptop computer with built-in webcam and speakers, a 2.5 GHz processor, and 4 GB of RAM or
- Tablet device with built-in webcam and speakers, or
- Smartphone with at least iOS 10 or Android 6.0
- Internet connection that is at least 10mbps. For optimal results, a reliable, high-speed internet connection with a bandwidth of at least 10 mbps will minimize connection issues and provide the best quality
Note: We recommend using the Pre-call Tool to check your internet connection to ensure all components of the session are functional.
The Day of The Call
Using a desktop or laptop computer
Approximately 10 minutes before your appointment, you will receive an email appointment reminder.
Note: If you have already consented to receiving text and/or email reminders, you will continue to receive them for telehealth appointments as well. If you are a new client, make sure you have provided your email and or mobile phone number so that we can enable email or text reminders.
Click the unique link embedded in the reminder. You may have to copy and paste the link into your web browser if clicking the link does not work. Your video call screen will now open in a new tab.
If your speech therapist has already joined the call, you will see their face on the screen. If they have not, you will see yourself as in the example below.
You will also see the Welcome prompt. Click Play test sound to test your camera and microphone settings. When you are ready, click Join Video Call. This will take you straight into the video call.
Using a smartphone or tablet
If you plan to use a mobile device, here are the steps to join:
Approximately 10 minutes before your appointment, you should receive an email appointment reminder.
Open the reminder email on your device and click the unique link. This will open the Telehealth app. If your speech therapist has already joined the call, you will see their face on the screen. If they have not, you will see yourself. When you are ready, click Join Video Call. This will take you straight into the video call.
Note: There may be a slight delay for your therapist to join the appointment if they are finishing with a previous appointment. Please be patient and they will join momentarily.
Tips For Success
We recommend joining the video appointment a few minutes early to test your settings. If you need to cancel or have questions about the appointment, please contact us.
What should I do if I didn’t get the reminder with the link?
Contact your therapist if you did not get the link so they can send it to you via email or secure messaging.
What can I do to improve the quality of the connection?
If you live in an area with slow internet, this can really affect the speed of your connection. Here are some basic steps that can improve the overall quality:
- Use wired Ethernet instead of Wifi whenever possible. Wifi will work, but you may experience a lag and interference, which can make your video and audio choppy. If you experience a lag or interference while using Wifi, we recommend moving closer to your router. Wired internet will give you a much smoother, more consistent experience.
- Test your internet connection speed. Google provides an easy way to test your internet connection directly from the Google homepage. Simply search: internet speed test. Click the blue button that says Run Speed Test. If it is under 10mbps and you’re using Wifi, try using a wired internet connection or restarting your router. If your computer doesn’t have an ethernet port, you can purchase an ethernet adapter. If either of your upload or download speeds are less than 2 mbps, your internet connection will not be reliable enough, so you will need to upgrade.
- Close other programs. If you have several programs running in the background, closing them will almost certainly improve the quality. Also, make sure you’re not downloading any large files.
If you are unable to connect, please contact your therapist as soon as possible to see if we can help you troubleshoot.
How should I prepare my space for a Telehealth appointment?
Identify a suitable room that is quiet, private, and free of distractions.
To keep background noise to a minimum, make sure to close any doors, shut windows, turn off the television, and keep loud pets in another room if possible. Consider hanging a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door to avoid interruptions.
Is Telehealth Private?
Just like a face-to-face appointment, your telehealth visit will be private and confidential.
Will the appointments be recorded?
None of our appointments will ever be recorded or stored.
Benefits of Telehealth
Here are a few of the research-based benefits to providing telehealth services:
- Increases access. Telepractice allows you to avoid long travel requirements to attend a therapy clinic. Many clients are not able to access a Speech Language Pathologist at all due to their location; online speech therapy removes this barrier. Approximately 123 million Americans live in an area with limited access to health care. Telehealth can play an important role in these communities by increasing accessibility.
- Reduces costs for clients. Nearly all research suggests that telehealth saves money when compared with traditional approaches to providing care. For clients, this often means lower copays, transportation costs, less time missed from work, and less money spent on child care expenses.
- Improves efficiency for providers. In general, adding telehealth options for therapy can increase efficiency.
- Same-level client care. No client outcome difference was found between telehealth appointments and face-to-face office visits. Research supports web-based speech therapy and training as an effective method of service, providing outcomes just as effective when compared to in person modes of learning, with many more benefits.
- Better client experience. Telehealth eliminates the wasted time traveling and sitting in the waiting room.
- Security: Sessions take place using a private web platform. At PROactive Speech Therapy & Accent Modification, your privacy is of the utmost importance. Complete all speech assessments and sessions in confidence.
|What is Telehealth?||“Telehealth allows us to meet through audio and video over the internet.”|
|How does Telehealth work?||“You’ll be sent a link to the video appointment. Click on it when our appointment is scheduled to start. You can use the camera and audio on your computer or mobile device.”|
|Why should I try Telehealth?||“This option means no waiting and travel time, and you won’t have to take time off work or other priorities. Plus, it’s HIPAA/PHIPA compliant and secure.”|
|How much will it cost?||“Your cost for a video appointment will vary depending on the coverage you have with your insurance provider. Most insurances charge a copayment just like traditional appointments, and it most likely will be the same amount.”|
Scheduling and Using Online Therapy and Training Services
All sessions are scheduled in advance using the online Booking tool. It’s that easy. Once an appointment time is chosen, clients will receive an e-mail notification to confirm the appointment. You will be sent a text message reminder 10 minutes before the session. 10 minutes before the arranged meeting time, simply go into the e-mail and login to the session as directed.
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