Telehealth guides

Telehealth and supervision: A guide for GPs in training and their supervisors

Supervision considerations for telehealth consultations

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Last revised: 05 Sep 2023

Supervision considerations for telehealth consultations

  • The RACGP has advised that teleconsultations provided by GP trainees require supervision that is commensurate with normal supervision requirements. This may look different though depending on where the trainee and supervisor are practising:
    • If both trainee and supervisor are on site then the supervisor can be contacted to come into the room to participate in the telehealth consultation or access the telehealth consultation as a third party depending on preference.
    • If the trainee and supervisor are at different sites then the supervisor needs to be able to join the telehealth consultation as a third party to provide advice
  • Both GPiT and supervisor should be clear on the process for joining a telehealth consultation as a third party whether this is on the phone or video consultation and the process should be trialled to ensure workability. If a video platform does not enable this feature then an appropriate alternative plan should be considered eg supervisor on speaker phone
  • Both GPiT and supervisor should agree on process for contacting the supervisor in these situations when their advice is sought eg sending message through practice software, text message, phone call, face to face discussion if on site
  • Both GPiT and supervisor should agree on a process for managing when the supervisor is not able to be contacted immediately eg if they are on their own telehealth consultation. Consideration should be given to how this may differ for urgent and non-urgent clinical matters.
  • Scheduling of a regular check in or contact with supervisor. This could be carried out in person or virtually depending on the working environment. The frequency of this check in should be based on the needs of the individual GPiT and should be regularly reviewed. These sessions may be used to discuss practical trouble shooting, follow up of non-urgent clinical questions, discuss MBS queries, debrief on challenges and generally make up for a loss of “corridor catch ups” that may occur with changes in working circumstances.
  • Scheduling of direct supervision sessions to help provide GPiT with feedback on their consulting skills. This may include but is not limited to the supervisor sitting in for a session of telehealth consultations conducted by the trainee or vice versa, mock and role play telehealth sessions, reviews of notes from telehealth consultations and / or random case audits of telehealth consultations.
  • It is important that in practice education is maintained as per the recommendations for stage of training. If either a GPiT or supervisor is working off site then consideration should be given to virtual education delivery via an appropriate platform.
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