Terms and Conditions - SPS Online Telepractice services

Reviewed March 2021

Purpose

The purpose of this page is to provide information to you on the terms and conditions of our online speech pathology telepractice service, and to obtain your consent to participate in, a telepractice consultation with your speech pathologist.

Speech Pathology for Schools Pty Ltd ABN 72616734537 provides the online telepractice service to enable clients to book and attend appointments for speech pathology services.  These Terms & Conditions set out the basis by which we permit you to access our services.  By using our services you agree to be bound by these terms and conditions, as amended from time to time.

What is SPS telepractice

Telepractice is the use of telecommunications to provide speech pathology services to clients. Our speech pathologists typically uses audio and video conferencing services to administer client sessions in real-time but may utilise other formats, such as email, for related communication. Telepractice is sometimes referred to as telehealth, telerehabilitation, or telespeech.

SPS works with schools to provide collaborative support for literacy and oral language development to students in the school context.  Our telepractice service is fully integrated to the school education framework,

What does a telepractice consultation involve

A telepractice consultation usually involves some or all of the following:

  • Your speech pathologist will discuss student goals with the student/teacher/parent and, where appropriate, will offer information and advice.

  • A support person may attend with the student, as in a face to face consultation.

  • A technical support person might be present for part of the consultation to assist with technical issues.

  • Video or audio recording the consultation is not permitted, unless your speech pathologist gives you permission to do so.

What are the potential benefits of telepractice

Telepractice can:

  • Improve access to speech pathology services

  • Reduce your need for travel

  • Continue to provide ongoing services that may otherwise not be possible 

  • Decrease exposure to infectious disease

What are the potential risks of telepractice

Telepractice can:

  • Be negatively impacted by technical problems, such as delays due to technology failures.

  • Not offer the same visual and sound quality for observations and modelling

  • Require someone onsite with you to support the speech pathologist

  • Not feel the same as an onsite session

  • Not achieve everything that is required and therefore require another telepractice consultation or a face to face consultation

  • Include practices and procedures that are not as well understood in a telepractice setting as they are onsite

  • Increase exposure to privacy and digital security risks. (See next section.)

Will my privacy be protected

SPS is subject to the Privacy Act 1988 and must comply with obligations related to the collection, use and disclosure of personal information, including through telepractice. Our speech pathologist must maintain confidentiality and privacy standards during sessions, and in creating, keeping and transmitting records. 

 

At times, audio and video recordings of sessions may be taken to support the speech pathologist’s work, as might occur in a face to face consultation. You will be informed before a recording takes place and can refuse to be recorded for any reason. The speech pathologist will inform you of the reason for the recording and how it will be stored.

While the speech pathologist is obligated to meet standards to protect your privacy and security, telecommunication, including videoconference, may increase exposure to hacking and other online risks; as with all online activities. You may decrease the risk by using a secure internet connection, meeting with the speech pathologist from a private location, and only communicating using secure channels.

What does informed consent mean

Informed consent included some important principles:

  • You will be given relevant information. Ask the speech pathologist if you have questions about telepractice and the services offered.

  • Parental consent, in accordance with normal school policies, is required for telepractice with any minors.

  • You have the right to understand the information. Ask the speech pathologist if you do not understand anything.

  • You have the right to choose. If you do not agree to telepractice, you may refuse to participate. You may agree to or refuse specific activities and procedures.

  • You have the right to stop using telepractice anytime. You can change your mind about telepractice or a specific activity or procedure, even in the middle of a session.

  • You can agree or refuse consent in writing or verbally or by clicking the consent box in any online booking system. You may give your consent using a form provided by your speech pathologist. You may also give consent or change your mind by telling the speech pathologist.  Consent and refusal that you give verbally will be documented by the speech pathologist.

  • You can ask about alternatives to telepractice. If you refuse or change your mind about telepractice services, your speech pathologist will discuss any other options with you. The speech pathologist may or may not be able to offer alternative services.