COVID-19 may present opportunities for improving healthcare delivery. According to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, telehealth visits with healthcare providers increased 154 percent between March 2019 and March 2020 primarily due to limitations of in-person interactions due to COVID-19.
To address these health care delivery shifts, and to discuss ways in which these changes provide opportunities for improved healthcare delivery, the Northern Arizona University Center for Health Equity Research (CHER), the Arizona Biomedical Research Centre, and the Arizona Occupational Therapy Association will offer an online conference, Telerehabilitation and Telepractice: An Interprofessional Conference to Build Connections and Best Practices on March 4 and 5.
The online event is Thursday, March 4, 11:45 a.m.–5 p.m. and Friday, March 5, noon–3:30 p.m.
“The purpose of the conference is to discuss trends and best practices in telepractice and telerehabilitation across multiple disciplines, including nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech language pathology,” said Lynda Ransdell, professor with the Department of Health Sciences and CHER.
“We will have some of the best experts in the country talking about how telepractice has changed this year, we will discuss a case study in interprofessional groups, and in the last session, conference-goers will have the opportunity to ask the panelists questions,” Ransdell added.
The conference is approved by the Arizona Speech-Language Hearing Association, which is approved by the Continuing Education Board of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association to provide continuing education activities in speech-language pathology and audiology.
“We are offering continuing education credits for speech language pathologists, occupational therapists and physical therapists, so we anticipate much of our audience will consist of professionals who need CEUs,” Ransdell said. “In addition, this conference is designed for individuals interested in expanding interprofessional education and practice.”
The Thursday afternoon event will feature Ellen R. Cohn, editor, author and professor, University of Pittsburgh, whose lecture is titled “An Introduction to Telepractice in 2020.”
As part of her presentation, Cohn will review a procedure to conduct safe telepractice and teach attendees how to identify a privacy concern relevant to telepractice.
The afternoon will also include a presentation from Emi Isaki, professor, NAU Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, on “Telepractice in 2021: The Arizona Clinical Experience and Best Practice.”
Isaki will discuss the requirements of speech-language pathologists who engage in telepractice while residing in the state of Arizona, licensure requirements, clinical exemplars and best practices.
After a break, Alan Lee, professor, Mount St. Mary’s University, will discuss “Physical Therapy: Advancement of Telehealth and Digital Practice in Physical Therapy, and Janet Bettger, associate professor and health services researcher, Duke University, will present “To Scale or Not to Scale: Do We have the Building Blocks to Answer this Question for Telerehabilitation?”
Goris Hung, pediatric therapist and student mentor at Hong Kong Polytechnical University, and Jana Cason, professor, Spaulding University, will then explore “Stepping into a New Era — Fundamentals and Efficacy of Telehealth in Occupational Therapy.”
On Friday, Liz Greenberg and Ambur Lindstrom-Mette, both associate clinical professors at NAU in Tucson in the nursing program, will present “Risk Management: Lessons Learned from Telehealth in Nursing” followed by a case study and panel discussion. Lindstrom-Mette is also the director of the NAU Tucson nursing program.
A full description of the speakers is available online as well as a detailed conference agenda.
“We have some of the most well-respected speakers in the country in their disciplines,” Ransdell said. “From them, we hope that attendees will learn about current trends, best practices, and interprofessional education and practice relative to telehealth, telepractice, telerehabilitation and more.”
The conference has a 200 registrant limit; register soon to attend.