Audiology Telepractice as a New Service Delivery Model
Telepractice is the application of telecommunications technology to deliver professional services at a distance by linking clinician to client or clinician to clinician for assessment, intervention, and/or consultation. It is the position of ASHA that telepractice (telehealth) is an appropriate model of service delivery for the profession of audiology. Telepractice may be used to overcome barriers of access to services caused by distance, unavailability of specialists and/or subspecialists, and impaired mobility. Telepractice offers the potential to extend clinical services to rural, remote, and underserved populations and to culturally and linguistically diverse populations.
The use of telepractice does not remove any existing responsibilities in delivering services, including adherence to the Code of Ethics, Scope of Practice, state and federal laws (e.g., licensure, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 [HIPAA], etc.), and ASHA policy documents on professional practices. Therefore, the quality of services delivered via telepractice must be consistent with the quality of services delivered face-to-face.