Notes from ATA Speech Therapy Telepractice Training in Belfast, Maine

belfast maine speech language therapy online

Belfast, Maine

ATA Speech Therapy Training

While on a trip to Belfast, Maine in June of 2013, Mr. David Shipps received training on Speech Therapy Telepractice at the Waldo County General Hospital. During this training he picked up a few tips, tricks and pointers that he thought he’d share with everyone:

  • This training is the only American Telemedicine Association (ATA) accredited program for speech therapy language telepractice.
  • Providers that don’t use telemedicine are limiting patient access to the best on-demand care possible.
  • 55% of e-patients want to communicate with you by email.
  • Speech telepractice can be used to reach underserved clients/patients, and reach unserved or underserved clients, reduce costs.
  • Telepractice is also known as telemedicine, teletherapy and telehealth.
  • Telemedicine/Telepractice is not a separate medical specialty, but often part of a larger investment by healthcare institutions in information technology or delivery of clinical care; in fee structure there is usually no distinction.
  • Per Nathan Curtis et al, instructions at WCGH, “The telepractice model in this training documents outcomes for speech therapy telepractice as good or better than traditional ‘table top’ speech therapy.”
  • In a three year project in Ohio, children make equal progress in telepractice compared to the traditional; students and parents were very pleased with telepractice.

The important stuff:

(1) Telepractice is not about the technology;
(2) Effective telepractice happens when relationships are built;
(3) Technology is the portal to establish those relationships.

waldo county general hospital speech language therapy onlineCompetencies for SLP’s:

Procedural: Set-up Skills:

  • Clinician can problem solve and correct audio, video and lighting problems on local computer and at distant site.
  • Clinician chooses location of telepractice equipment to reduce visual and auditory distractions on local computer and at distant site.
  • Clinician can assure privacy and confidentiality through careful location of computer and can assist adult/helper to do the same to manage their computer, webcam and microphone.


Technical Skills:

  • Clinician demonstrates the ability to manage telepractice account including meeting settings, password protection, recorded materials and privacy controls.
  • Clinician can locate, open, load and share materials in a telepractice session.
  • Clinician utilizes a variety of web-based tools within a telepractice session to enhance interactions with client (text tools, point, eraser, highlighter).
  • Clinician demonstrates skills in sharing web-based tools to engage e-learner with a variety of materials (whiteboard, desktop, documents, web content, applications).
  • Clinician can carefully screen which clients could benefit from telepractice services.


Regulatory Information:

  • Clinician understands scope of practices and complies with all requirements of ASHA within the delivery of services.
  • Clinician knows billing codes and billing practices of telepractice services.
  • Clinician demonstrates adequate documentation of telepractice services, written notes and progress reports.
Posted in Dave's Corner.

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