Information for Families and Caregivers
Grandview Children’s Centre continues to provide service during the COVID-19 pandemic when in-centre opportunities are prohibited or limited. Offering clinical appointments through telepractice allows us to provide the best possible services to support our children and families.
Click on a question below to read the corresponding answer.
- What is “telepractice?”
- What is required to participate in videoconferencing?
- How do I participate in videoconferencing?
- Is my clinician competent to deliver telepractice?
- What are the benefits of telepractice?
- What are the risks and limitations of telepractice?
- What are the alternatives to telepractice? What if I try it and it doesn’t work?
- Is telepractice private and confidential?
- What is “ACCESS?”
What is “telepractice?”
- Telepractice is the delivery of clinical services using technology when the clinicians and clients are not in the same physical location. Grandview uses two types of telepractice modalities for clinical appointments: videoconferencing and telephone visits.
- Videoconferencing connects participants through an online platform. Zoom for Healthcare is the web-based videoconferencing tool used at Grandview, and it allows you and your child to meet with a clinician online.
What is required to participate in videoconferencing?
- A computer, laptop or tablet, with a camera and a microphone (a smartphone may be attempted)
- High-speed internet
- A quiet location with minimal distractions
- Your availability to participate alongside your child for a 30-45 minute treatment session (it is best if a parent can sit right beside the child, help him/her with the technology, and also participate in the activities) or 90 minutes for an assessment.
How do I participate in videoconferencing?
- We will give you detailed instructions about how to join and participate in the telepractice session via the Zoom for Healthcare platform and how to connect any equipment. The clinician may contact you via telephone to talk you through the procedure.
Is my clinician competent to deliver telepractice?
- Various associations and provincial colleges that guide or regulate professionals to ensure safe and ethical practice have indicated it is within their respective scopes to conduct services via telepractice.
- It is also permitted that Therapy Assistants may conduct interventions via telepractice under the supervision of a certified or regulated health professional.
- Telepractice is a method of service delivery for us at Grandview, and our clinicians have engaged in numerous activities to develop their competency to deliver services this way. This includes: completing webinars, reviewing pertinent documentation, guidelines and resources, and conducting practice sessions.
What are the benefits of telepractice?
- Many research studies completed over the last ten years have shown that telepractice, using videoconferencing can be just as effective as a regular therapy session.
- A high satisfaction rate is reported by both the parents and the children who have tried telepractice.
- The use of telepractice allows services to continue when many in-person appointments are unavailable (i.e., during the COVID-19 pandemic when physical distancing and other public health measures are in effect). This method of service delivery reduces the risk of infection spread which can occur during in-person visits.
- Your child will be able to continue with intervention which may lead to gains in their development. It is an alternative to waiting for in-centre services to begin again.
- You will be able to participate in your child’s session actively and see first-hand their progress towards their goals.
What are the risks and limitations of telepractice?
- As with all therapy services, whether they are in-person or through telepractice, there is the possibility that your child may not benefit or will improve only a small amount, despite our best efforts.
- There is a risk that your child will not enjoy or want to participate in telepractice sessions. They may find it too difficult to pay attention or sit still when needed, for an extended period. We will consider other options to meet your child’s needs.
- Your Grandview clinician may be running the appointment from their home, where their own families, children, and pets may reside. As a result, there is a small risk that you may hear some background noise or be interrupted. The clinician will do their best to prevent this from happening.
- Although the clinician will have tested any audio-visual equipment in advance of the appointment, there is a risk that technical difficulties may occur during the appointment due to technology challenges and/or internet interruptions.
- The internet connection may not be sufficient to allow for effective communication or service delivery (e.g., resulting in a poor picture or sound quality, or dropped connections). If this occurs, we will make every attempt to fix the issues or provide alternative options (e.g., telephone consultation).
- Some specific approaches to assessment or intervention cannot be delivered using telepractice.
What are the alternatives to telepractice? What if I try it and it doesn’t work?
- At any time during a telepractice session, you can request that we stop.
- Your clinician will attempt to connect with you over the telephone or email. We can speak with you about your child’s goals and discuss strategies and activities you can try at home to address these goals.
- When the centre re-opens and in-person sessions become widely available, we will contact you to schedule an appointment.
Is telepractice private and confidential?
- Your privacy is important, and valued by Grandview. Canada and Ontario have laws about private medical information which are called PHIPA (Personal Health Information Protection Act), and Grandview is obligated to follow these laws.
- Grandview’s videoconferencing system, Zoom for Health Care, and their procedures, are in compliance with PHIPA. We will connect with a private, secure connection to make sure your privacy is protected.
- Security protocols of the internet-based programs could fail, causing a breach of privacy of confidential health information. The clinician will use a secure, password-protected, internet or Wi-Fi connection and it is recommended that you do the same. Public Wi-Fi networks (such as those available in coffee shops, malls, libraries etc.) are not secure.
- When logging into Group Sessions (e.g., Parent Workshops), other workshop participants may be able to see the name you enter in to join in the workshop. If your video is selected to be turned on, other participants will also be able to see your camera feed. These risks are similar to attending a workshop in person, where other attendees would see you and may learn your name.
- No participants (families or staff) will be permitted to record the online workshop or individual sessions.
- Participants must agree to not discuss other participants or their children outside of the workshop.
- Any protected health information will only be shared by paper mail, secure email platform called ACCESS (we can set you up for this) or via our secure telepractice platform.
What is “ACCESS?”
- ACCESS is a secure email platform which is part of Grandview Children’s Centre’s ongoing commitment to protect the privacy of our clients and families.
- Families will be asked to register for ACCESS so that we can easily and securely communicate about any upcoming appointments, or share information.