Olympia, WA (PRWEB) December 19, 2013
The Washington State Board of Hearing and Speech voted unanimously to allow telehealth supervision of first-year speech-language pathologists. Angie Quesnell, SLP, a clinician with Infinity Rehab, submitted the proposal that will improve access to mentors for recent SLP graduates while improving clinical efficiency and reducing transportation expenses.
Telehealth is the use of telecommunications technology to support long-distance clinical care for patients and therapists in remote locations. In recent years, medical and therapy professionals have seen increased use of videoconferencing for both patient care as well as supervision. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) supports telesupervision for mentoring purposes but the State of Washington had no specific policy and requirements vary from state to-state.
“Telesupervision is another way to provide the support needed for SLPs,” said Quesnell who works as a Regional SLP Mentor with Infinity Rehab. Once a speech-language pathologist graduates from school, they spend approximately a year as a Clinical Fellow (CF) working to develop their skills under the supervision of an experienced clinician. Ms. Quesnell currently supervises 4-5 CFs in rural Washington and travels extensively to be onsite to meet with her supervisees. Now, Quesnell will be able to mentor any or all them through videoconferencing technology.
Washington State Board of Hearing and Speech ruled on the decision during its November 15th meeting. The board, part of the Washington State Department of Health, promotes the welfare of the state by regulating the competency and quality of professional healthcare providers under its jurisdiction.
“We’re proud of the work Angie has done to improve telehealth access in the State of Washington,” said Infinity President Mike Billings. “Telehealth broadens our clinical opportunities as well as helps us train and mentor our employees more efficiently – no matter their location.”
About Infinity Rehab
Established in 1999, Infinity Rehab has grown to be a leading provider of clinically intensive, comprehensive physical, occupational and speech therapy in the sub-acute and long-term care environment. The company was founded and is led by a team of therapists. It serves patients in skilled nursing facilities, schools, and outpatient settings in continuing care communities, free-standing assisted living and retirement living facilities in approximately 180 facilities across nine states. Based in Wilsonville, Oregon, Infinity rehab and its affiliates provide more than 1.2 million patient visits annually. Infinity Rehab is a member of the Avamere Family of Companies.