The transformation of a student-led health clinic in rural Australia from a face-to-face service to a telehealth model: Evaluation of student and client experiences during a COVID 19 driven transition
Keywords:Interprofessional, service learning, clinical placement, eHealth, telehealth
Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated the rapid transition of many face-to-face health services to alternate modes of service delivery. The objective of this study was to explore the benefits, challenges and perceived quality of a telehealth service delivery model from the perspective of clients and students. Further, students’ perceptions relating to the quality of the educational experience were also explored.
Methods: The study was set in a student-led interprofessional health and wellness clinic in rural Queensland, Australia. A qualitative case study design was used, including semi-structured student interviews and client open-response survey data. Participants were nursing and allied health students who completed a student-led interprofessional clinic placement and adults with low to rising risk of chronic disease who attended the clinic for telehealth delivered services.
Results: Themes identified following analysis included: new or adapted skills needed for success; challenges, limitations and the need for resources, training and support; quality interprofessional education experiences can be achieved in telehealth; coming away with a new set of skills; the important role of the client for success; and benefits and disadvantages of telehealth for clients.
Conclusions: The findings support that telehealth-based service-learning models are a feasible way to deliver health and wellness services from the perspective of students and clients and provide students with important skills for rural health service delivery.
Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA). (2020). Telehealth guide for allied health professionals. https://ahpa.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/AHPA-Telehealth-Guide_Allied-Health-Professionals-May-2020.pdf
Barr, H., Ford, J., Gray, R., Marion, H., Hutchings, M., Low, H., Machin, A., & Reeves, S. (2017). Interprofessional education guidelines 2017. CAIPE. https://www.caipe.org/resources/publications/caipe-publications/caipe-2017-interprofessional-education-guidelines-barr-h-ford-j-gray-r-helme-m-hutchings-m-low-h-machin-reeves-s
Barrett, D. I. (2013). Effectiveness of a telehealth and telecare learning resource within an undergraduate nursing curriculum. Journal of the International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth, 1(1), 12–18. https://journals.ukzn.ac.za/index.php/JISfTeH/article/view/22
Bautista, C. A., Huang, I., Stebbins, M., Floren, L. C., Wamsley, M., Youmans, S. L., & Hsia, S. L. (2020). Development of an interprofessional rotation for pharmacy and medical students to perform telehealth outreach to vulnerable patients in the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 34(5), 694–697. https://doi.org/10.1080/13561820.2020.1807920
Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), 77–101. https://doi.org/10.1191/1478088706qp063oa
Chike-Harris, K. E., Durham, C., Logan, A., Smith, G., & DuBose-Morris, R. (2020). Integration of telehealth education into the health care provider curriculum: A review. Telemedicine and e-Health, 27(2), 137–149. https://doi.org/10.1089/tmj.2019.0261
Edirippulige, S., Brooks, P., Carati, C., Wade, V. A., Smith, A. C., Wickramasinghe, S., & Armfield, N. R. (2018). It’s important, but not important enough: eHealth as a curriculum priority in medical education in Australia. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 24(10), 697–702. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1357633X18793282
Fisher, E. B., Tang, P. Y., Coufal, M. M., Liu, Y., & Jia, W. (2018). Peer support. In T. P. Daaleman, & M. R Helton (Eds.), Chronic illness care (pp. 133–146). Springer International. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-71812-5_11
Forbes, R., Beckman, E., Tower, M., Mandrusiak, A., Mitchell, L. K., Sexton, C. T., Cunningham, B., & Lewis, P. A. (2020). Interprofessional, student-led community health clinic: Expanding service provision and clinical education capacity. Australian Health Review, 45(2), 255–260. https://doi.org/10.1071/AH20021
Gustin, T. S., Kott, K., & Rutledge, C. (2020). Telehealth etiquette training: A guideline for preparing interprofessional teams for successful encounters. Nurse Educator, 45(2), 88–92. https://doi.org/10.1097/NNE.0000000000000680
Haines, T. P., Kent, F., & Keating, J. L. (2014). Interprofessional student clinics: An economic evaluation of collaborative clinical placement education. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 28(4), 292–298. https://doi.org/10.3109/13561820.2013.874983
Jones, D., McAllister, L., & Lyle, D. (2015). Interprofessional academic service-learning in rural Australia: Exploring the impact on allied health student knowledge, skills, and practice. A qualitative study. International Journal of Practice-Based Learning in Health and Social Care, 3(2), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.18552/ijpblhsc.v3i2.217
Kent, F., Martin, N., & L. Keating, J. (2016). Interprofessional student-led clinics: An innovative approach to the support of older people in the community. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 30(1), 123–128. https://doi.org/10.3109/13561820.2015.1070133
National Rural Health Commissioner. (2020). Improvement of access, quality and distribution of allied health services in regional, rural and remote Australia. https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/final-report-improvement-of-access-quality-and-distribution-of-allied-health-services-in-regional-rural-and-remote-australia
O’Shea, M.-C., Reeves, N. E., Bialocerkowski, A., & Cardell, E. (2019). Using simulation-based learning to provide interprofessional education in diabetes to nutrition and dietetics and exercise physiology students through telehealth. Advances in Simulation, 4(1), Article 28. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41077-019-0116-7
Porter Lipscomb, C., & Zupec, J. (2020). Use of telehealth experiences to facilitate interprofessional education. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 77(10), 734–738. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajhp/zxaa033
Pullon, S. S., Wilson, C., Gallagher, P., Skinner, M., McKinlay, E., Gray, L., & McHugh, P. (2016). Transition to practice: Can rural interprofessional education make a difference? A cohort study. BMC Medical Education, 16(1), Article 154. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-016-0674-5
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP). (2019). Telehealth video consultations guide. https://www.racgp.org.au/getmedia/764ab82e-7dea-434e-94ca-cab808f7b5eb/Telehealth-video-consultations-guide.pdf.aspx
Rutledge, C. M., Haney, T., Bordelon, M., Renaud, M., & Fowler, C. (2014). Telehealth: Preparing advanced practice nurses to address healthcare needs in rural and underserved populations. International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, 11(1), 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1515/ijnes-2013-0061
Stetten, N. E., Black, E. W., Edwards, M., Schaefer, N., & Blue, A. V. (2019). Interprofessional service learning experiences among health professional students: A systematic search and review of learning outcomes. Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice, 15, 60–69. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.xjep.2019.02.002
Thomas, D. R. (2006). A general inductive approach for analyzing qualitative evaluation data. American Journal of Evaluation, 27(2), 237–246. https://doi.org/10.1177/1098214005283748
Winship, J. M., Falls, K., Gregory, M., Peron, E. P., Donohoe, K. L., Sargent, L., Slattum, P. W., Chung, J., Tyler, C. M., & Diallo, A. (2020). A case study in rapid adaptation of interprofessional education and remote visits during COVID-19. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 34(5), 702–705. https://doi.org/10.1080/13561820.2020.1807921
World Health Organisation. (2020). WHO director-general's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19: 11 March 2020. https://www.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-covid-19---11-march-2020
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multi-Professional Journal
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
On acceptance for publication in FoHPE the copyright of the manuscript is signed over to ANZAHPE, the publisher of FoHPE.
Any reproduction of material published in FoHPE must have the express permission of the publisher.
Articles published in Focus on Health Professional Education (FoHPE) are available under Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives Licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).