What is a Telehealth Consultation?
Telehealth is an Independent Medical Examination conducted using videoconferencing as an alternative to face-to face appointments. The assessment may occur at home, at a medical clinic, or a video conferencing facility.
Telehealth is preferred by many claimants and specialists in the medico legal sector as it is less stressful, more efficient and easier.
How does it work?
For appointments taking place in a clinic or video conference facility, the booking process is exactly the same as our face-to-face appointments. The claimant will receive a date, time and location for the consultation. When the claimant arrives at the clinic or video conferencing facility, they will be checked in and shown into a room with a computer or iPad for the consultation to take place.
For appointments occurring at the claimant’s home the booking process is likewise similar. The Case Manager selects a date and time for the consultation however no location is required, enabling the first free appointment slot with the specialist to be booked. At the time of booking we will request the claimant’s email address so we may send through the link for the consultation and some information about how the consultation will occur. At this time we offer the claimant the opportunity to have a test call, where we will talk them through the process and touch base on the video-conferencing software to ensure the individual is comfortable and ready for when their appointment will take place. At the designated appointment time the claimant then simply clicks on the link and is taken directly to our video conferencing platform with the specialist.
For all at home appointments a device with internet connection and a functioning microphone and camera is required. If the claimant does not have access to this, please let our staff know prior to the appointment and we will organise a local clinic for the claimant to visit.
What are the benefits of Telehealth Consultations?
- Simple – booking process is identical to the face-to-face IME
- Convenient – can be conducted in the claimants own home or local clinic, no travel required for the specialist or claimant
- Accessible – available nation-wide in both cities and regional locations as well as internationally
- Cost-effective – reduces the associated costs of the claimant and/or doctors travel for the appointment
- Faster – receive an appointment 5 days faster on average than face-to-face appointments
What about privacy and confidentiality?
The same privacy and confidentiality requirements that apply to face-to-face consultations apply to video consultations. The consultation will not be recorded. The psychiatrist will not provide information to anyone other than those involved with the claimant’s care. We adhere to the Telehealth protocols specified by The Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. For more information please view their web site at www.ranzcp.org.
When booking an IME via Telehealth the following should be taken into consideration:
- Younger claimants may be more easily distracted when using telehealth
- Paranoid claimants who may be concerned about “monitoring” or “surveillance”
- Individuals with cognitive or sensory impairment who may find technology more challenging
- Claimants with less stability who may require more support through face to face interaction
- Individuals without internet access or a device that may support a video-conference
Want to learn more?
Click here to watch our informative video on MLO's Telehealth Services.
Call or email us to find out more about our telehealth appointments or to book a consultation. Further information can also be found in our telehealth brochure here.