Examples of Infographics to support Telehealth Placements

“Interprofessional telehealth services: An innovative WIL model for accredited health programs during COVID 19 and beyond”

Rachel Bacon, University of Canberra

This project provides strategic leadership to the ACEN community and other stakeholders to optimise telehealth’s role in Interprofessional Education (IPE) and WIL. Under the leadership of an expert panel, research within a university health clinic will explore the strengths and challenges, learning experiences and learning outcomes offered by telehealth. This will inform guidelines and a suite of practical resources.

Themes: Sustainable, scalable and innovative WIL models, WIL within digital and virtual learning environments, Building learner agency and professional identity through WIL

April 2020 Update

Under the guidance of an expert panel, research is being conducted within a university health clinic to explore the strengths and challenges of student learning experiences offered by telehealth consultations. This project is being led by Associate Professor Rachel Bacon and includes academics and clinicians from the University of Canberra, Canberra Health Services, ACT Health Directorate and the Australian National University.

This research responded to the current gap in accredited health placements and the growth in telehealth technologies, funding and services resulting from COVID 19. While evidence shows telehealth can provide effective healthcare, research on telehealth for WIL and IPE is underexplored. This research has been conducted within an established university health clinic that provides placement to 240 students annually with students from the disciplines of dietetics, occupational therapy, exercise physiology, speech pathology and physiotherapy participating in the research. 

Data collection has now been completed for both research studies.  The first study explored the perceived benefits, challenges and impacts of telehealth placement experiences for key stakeholders using focus groups with students (n=6), clients (n=6), clinical educators (n=9) and placement conveners (n=6). Placement experiences varied across disciplines and stage of placement. Challenges were attributed predominately to technology and the rapid roll-out due to COVID 19. Telehealth experiences enabled competency development and offered some unique benefits. Overall, telehealth was supported by all stakeholders as an adjunct, rather than an alternative, to face to face placement experiences. The second study was a quantitative telephone survey conducted with students (n=67) and compared telehealth and face and face placement learning experiences. For 90% of the statements, students reported favourable and comparable ratings for both telehealth and face-to face learning. 

There are challenges with implementing telehealth placement experiences. This project will deliver a suite of practical resources to assist the ACEN community and other stakeholders to optimise telehealth’s role in Interprofessional Education (IPE) and WIL. Full results from these studies will be disseminated via conference presentations and journal article publication.