Telehealth Session FAQs

At Collaboration House Psychology, we have been proponents and practitioners of telehealth for years and have seen the benefits it can provide. In times of the need for flexibility in accessing mental health services, we are honoured to provide support for you in this format. Here is a quick-start guide to get your sessions going.

Day of your Session: Good Tips for Quality Connection
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  • Restart your computer before the meeting
  • Make sure you have a stable internet connection or wifi; Consider connecting to the internet with an ethernet cord; Using Chrome or Firefox as your browser can sometimesbe better than Safari or Microsoft Edge, and
  • Make sure you have the most current update for your browser & Zoom

  • If you’ve not used Zoom before, watch this clip on Joining a Zoom meeting

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Before the Session Starts
  • Make sure to have a private space where you won’t be disturbed or heard. This may be in a bedroom, home office, or even, if needed, in a large closet, basement, or in your car in your driveway (please do NOT worry about clutter or messy surroundings as we will only be focusing on you and your emotional needs).

  • If you live with others, make sure family members don't disturb you (though if young kids are at home we can brainstorm options); you might consider using a white noise machine or a small fan on outside the door of the room you are in to mask the sound so you won’t be heard outside the door.

  • You will need a laptop or desktop computer with a video camera and microphone (these are built in to most laptops), tablet, or a smartphone.

  • With Telehealth video, the camera view needs to capture your whole face. This helps your therapist assess your emotional needs (though if phone or loss of video, we can brainstorm options).

  • Using earphones/buds plugged in/synced to the computer helps maintain privacy and improves sound.

  • Make sure all unnecessary web-browsers are closed, your phone is turned off or placed where it won’t distract you, and that no one else in your home is using the wifi for streaming (or at all, if possible).

  • Be Comfortable! Find a comfortable position, perhaps a favourite chair, or pillows or a throw blanket, a cup of tea or essential oils, so you can create a healing, soothing environment for yourself in this time to care for yourself 

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Beginning a Session
  • Technology has made it easy to access telehealth, and we have multiple options. Our primary platform is a secure platform called Zoom that we’ve been using for years. Zoom has made recent security updates to increase privacy protection.

  • To begin a session you simply click on the URL link after ‘Join from a PC, Mac, iOS or Android:’ sent to you in your email or cut and paste (or type) the URL link in the  into your internet browser on your computer about at our scheduled appointment time. You may be asked to download Zoom software to join the session if you have not used Zoom before. This will take you to our virtual waiting room and you will just relax and wait until the therapist joins the session, much like an in-person session.

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Troubleshooting
  • Make sure your volume is up and that your video and microphone and video camera are on (usually this happens automatically). You can use the Zoom “Video Settings” to check your video, audio, and mircrophone.

  • There is a chat function on the bottom of the screen so we can type a message to each other if we can’t hear each other-If the signal is bad, simply restart your computer and copy and paste the URL link back into your browser and wait for me to join again.

  • If more than two minutes have gone by and you haven’t been able to re-connect with me on Zoom feel free to call me at 0490 973 552, or I will call you.

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​Telehealth Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Telehealth has similar impact as in-person treatments

  • Can be by video or phone

  • Less chance of exposure to COVID-19

  • Sessions in the comfort of your own space

  • Don't have to drive to session!

  • Overall, if you're familiar with using computers or smartphones, telehealth is safe, effective, convenient, and an important tool in maintaining continuity of care.

Cons

  • Generally only shows faces rather than full body, some body language can be missed.

  • If there is a poor video or sound connection, communication can be difficult or less clear.

  • Like with texting conversations, it’s important to check in and make sure what you are communicating and what you are hearing is accurate and understood as intended.

Are there risks to using telehealth?

Risks are minimal and similar to beginning therapy, though we will need to identify appropriate emergency plans and contacts if they were to be needed. In some cases I may deem that telehealth is not appropriate or safe to use and we will discuss alternatives if this is the case.

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Anything else I need to know?

You will be asked to complete a consent form before we begin our first session. You will also be asked to confirm your location at the start of each session and attest that others are not present and that the session is not being recorded. We’ll be happy to address any other questions or concerns you might have, and are looking forward to being able to continue to support you in this way and help you navigate the issues you are experiencing and these unprecedented events with resilience and meaning.

 
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FAQs and Policies at CHP

Telehealth Sessions FAQs

Face-to-Face Sessions FAQs

Confidentiality Policies

Privacy Policies

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FAQs and Policies at CHP

Telehealth Sessions FAQs

Face-to-Face Sessions FAQs

Confidentiality Policies

Privacy Policies

Face-to-Face Sessions FAQs

Please note:

While all reasonable precautions are being taken to reduce COVID-19 transmission risk via these policies and procedures, this does not eliminate the risk of transmission. We continue to review and keep up to date with directives from government and health practitioner regulatory and professional bodies as they arise, and may be implementing further processes as new information becomes available.

We may change the precautions mentioned here if additional local, state, or federal orders or guidelines are published. If that happens, we will post here and discuss with our clients about any necessary changes.

Is my psychologist vaccinated?

Yes. All persons working with CHP are fully vaccinated. For session, your psychologist will be wearing a face mask and face shield.

(A) Do I need to show my completed digital vaccination certificate?

Yes. Every client over the age of 12 years will need to show their completed digital vaccination certificate to their psychologist in a telehealth session before their first face-to-face session can be scheduled. This includes any carer who enters the clinic to drop off their child/adolescent clients of any age for their appointments.      Get your digital vaccination certificate here or follow step by step

I don’t want to reveal my or my child’s health information regarding vaccination status or that I am not or my child is not vaccinated. Can I or my child still see a psychologist face-to-face in the consultation rooms?

No. You have the right to refuse to reveal your health information. Without your health information regarding your vaccination status or if you are not fully vaccinated, we can offer you four options:

  • Telehealth sessions

  • Out-of-office/outside sessions (these are not offered by all psychologists or appropriate for all clients)

  • Accept a referral to another service

  • Conclude and close your work with your psychologist for now.

Contact us to discuss your options.

(B) What do I need to do before the appointment?
  • Show your Digital COVID Vaccination Certificate (or e-copy) to your psychologist via telehealth. This is for all clients over the age of 12 years and any carer entering the clinic to drop their child off for a session.

  • In consultation with you or you and your child via telehealth, your psychologist has assessed that face-to-face sessions can be offered based on clinical assessment of the appropriateness of service delivery.

(C) What do I need to on the day before the appointment?
  • Let us know that you or your and your child are well by filling in the CHP Health Survey. A link will be sent with your appointment reminder SMS. Complete this at least 1-2 hours before your appointment. If we do not receive this, your appointment will be rescheduled as a telehealth appointment.

  • Check in at your appointment time; do not arrive before, our wait area is closed at this time to minimise contact.

  • Both you and your psychologist follow public hygiene and safety standards by:

    •  Doing the QR code and temperature check-in at the front door

    • Correctly wearing masks when you enter the medical centre and while in CHP session rooms.

    • Using hand santiser or washing hands before and after sessions

    • Maintaining physical distance of 1.5-2m at all times

How will you handle my vaccination status information?

At CHP, we adhere to the Privacy Act (1988) and the Health Records Act (2001). We hold all of your information and submitted documents in a securely encrypted server within our practice management system. We do not release your information unless you are at risk of immediate danger or harm, if you’ve submitted a written request to release the your information, or we receive a court-ordered subpoena to release your information. CHP Privacy Policy

 
Are there exemptions to vaccination in face-to-face sessions?

Conditional. While there are medical exemptions to vaccination, the exemptions may indicate that treatment needed is not appropriate for delivery in the private practice setting and the psychologist may need to refer you to an appropriate service or provider.

Please see the full list of lawful exemptions to vaccination and ATAGI Clinical Guidance.In the case the psychologist assesses that treatment is available and the private practice setting is appropriate, documentation must be submitted to CHP of a GP assessment and identification of a medical exemption to COVID-19 vaccination for you. Please note, a general letter from a GP is insufficient to meet this exemption. The method for face-to-face delivery will be assessed in consultation with the psychologist and may include either out-of-office/outside sessions (these are not offered by all psychologists or appropriate for all clients) or in-office sessions

What if I forget to bring a mask to the face-to-face sessions?

We can provide a mask to you for $2+GST. We have a small supply of face masks available should you or your child forget to bring your face mask. Each face mask provided to you is $2+GST and added to your session invoice for payment. Medicare does not rebate mask purchases.

Are their exemptions to mask-wearing in face-to-face sessions?

Yes. There are exemptions to mask-wearing. Please see the full list of lawful exemptions for not wearing a mask. People with lawful exemptions for not wearing a face mask should discuss removing their masks with their psychologist before removing their masks, still keep at least 1.5 metres apart from others, practice regular hand hygiene by washing or sanitising hands frequently, continue to comply with the Public Health Directions currently in force, and get tested if unwell (even with mild symptoms). For session, your psychologist will be wearing a face mask and face shield.

What if I’m not well/sick, can I still come in for a face-to-face session?

No. In short, please phone to schedule a telehealth session. More information here: Feeling Sick?

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This update is to let you know about changes to counselling appointments at Collaboration House Psychology as Melbourne restrictions lifted 21/10/21 11:59pm and COVID risk ratings were released Monday 29/11/2021.

 

Please check the Victorian Government assessed current risk rating here:

We know that it’s been hard in Melbourne and there have been a lot adjustments to get used to. We want to help support our clients in the safest way possible and keep you updated as these changes occur. If you have any questions about these adjustments, please contact reception via email.

In-person/Face-to-face sessions

At this time, the vast majority of appointments will still be offered via telehealth.

At COVID Active (high risk) and COVID Peak (very high risk) risk rating periods, CHP will only offer telehealth sessions. 

As risk ratings change to COVID Ready and COVID Alert, a gradual increase of in-persons sessions may be offered over the coming months and into next year. If you would like to book a face-to-face appointment for yourself or your child, please understand these sessions are offered to clients on a case-by-case basis in consultation with their psychologist based on clinical assessment of the appropriateness of service delivery and when all COVID Safe measures (A, B, & C below) are followed. As we are AHPRA registered providers and are required to follow Public Health Orders and Work Health Safety Laws, we require the following to provide the safest environment we can for our clients, community, and everyone here at CHP.

 

Non-attendance and Reschedule Policy

Non-Attendance Fees and Rescheduling/Cancelling Appointments:

If you need to reschedule or cancel an appointment, it is important that you email and or phone the clinic to notify us at least one business days’ notice in advance from your appointment time (i.e., Wednesday 2pm appointment needs to be cancelled/rescheduled before 2pm Tuesday to not incur a Non-Attendance Fee; For Monday appointments this is notice before your appointment time on Friday) – Please be aware that public holidays do not count as business days. We have this policy in place as another client may benefit from the open appointment time –  You may receive a courtesy reminder, however keeping appointments made are the responsibility of the client. We have a waiting list and there are usually a number of clients waiting for appointment times to arise.

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A fee is charged when insufficient notice is given:

  • Less than one business days’/24 hours before the appointment start time, half session fee + GST  or 

  • Less than 12 hours before appointment start time or non-attendance, the full session fee + GST 

 

Please be advised that if you cancel, reschedule, or fail to attend your appointment with any less than one business days'/24 hours notice, the Non-attendance fee will be charged using the payment details we have on file.

NOTE: Medicare does not refund/rebate non-attendance fees; the client is responsible for payment. Business Day/Hours are Monday through Friday 9am to 5pm, excluding weekends and public holidays.

 
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Confidentiality Policy at CHP

What we discuss is kept confidential as per the CHP Privacy and Health Records Policy. All information disclosed within sessions is confidential and may not be revealed to anyone without written permission except where disclosure is permitted or required by law. These situations include, but are not limited to: (a) when there is reasonable suspicion of abuse to a child or to a dependent or elder adult; (b) when a client is at risk of harm to others; (c) when a client is at risk of harm to themselves; or (d) when disclosure is required pursuant to a legal proceeding. If you would like your therapist to discuss your information with another health professional, or other relevant person they will request the client to complete a written consent to release information form. If you are using Medicare Better Access or Telehealth Scheme, it is a requirement that I write a brief report to your referring Doctor after: the 1st, each 6th & 10th and final appointment. We’ll talk about the report before it is sent out.

For Children and Adolescents, it's been well established that if children and adolescents feel they can see a psychologist in confidence, they are more likely to do so and more likely to continue to engage in therapy and engage in problem solving for their issues. Therefore, unless it's a life-threatening, immediate risk of self-harm, the child's/adolescent's confidentiality is paramount. We also value connection and communication, and we will work with clients on how to share information important to the relationships that mean the most to them. Your child's/adolescent's psychologist will discuss this more with you both.

Additionally, In order to maintain and develop psychologist skills and expertise, as therapists, we engage in professional supervision and peer consultation throughout our careers. This may involve discussing clients’ issues in a non-identifiable way in consultation. 

 

Privacy and Health Records Policy

Privacy and Health Records Policy Collaboration House Psychology (CHP) is committed to best practice in relation to the management of information we collect. Our Privacy and Health Records Policy has been developed in compliance with the Privacy Act (1988) and Health Records Act (2001). To provide the best health care to you, Collaboration House Psychology requires your consent to the collection, recording and appropriate or necessary communication of relevant personal mental/health information.

 

By proceeding with the establishment of a file for you and with booking or meeting with our clinician(s), you have indicated your consent that any private mental health and health care information provided, obtained or recorded in the establishment or continuance of your mental health care relationship with Collaboration House Psychology will be kept and managed in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

 

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0490 973 552 or email admin@collaborationhousepsychology.com.

 

What Personal Health Information Is Collected And Why Information that relates to, or assists in, providing good mental health care to the client is collected. This includes: personal identification and contact information (including important relationships such as carers, guardians or emergency contacts); medical history, current mental/health problems and other aspects of the client’s life and development; and information required for billing and Medicare claiming. Client records will be stored digitally, for 7 years for adult clients or 7 years after the 18th birthday of adolescent clients.

 

We hold, use and disclose personal information:

  • to provide health services to you

  • to communicate with you

  • to comply with our legal obligations, such as mandatory reporting

  • to help manage our accounts and administrative services

  • to liaise with other professionals involved in your or your adolescent's health care, and

  • to liaise with your health fund, government and regulatory bodies, as necessary.

 

Information Collected For Billing and Administration Purposes Parents or guardians are legally responsible for the care of their adolescent and for associated fees for care provided by Collaboration House Psychology. The name of these parents, guardians or other carers, as well as their contact information, is required for billing and the lodgment of Medicare claims and rebates. This information is stored in client files and used for both administrative and clinical purposes and managed in the same way as other clinically-needed information, as described in this policy. Any outstanding accounts and related information may, after a reasonable time, be handed over to a third party for legal or debt recovery purposes.

 

Who Collects and Uses This Information? Administrative/reception personnel and treating clinicians will collect and manage identification, contact, billing and family relationship information and may also record, for the purposes of relaying to clinicians, some information pertaining to mental/health care and current problems. Clinicians record information about mental/health and developmental issues, including information about the client’s life, relationships and social contexts where relevant. 

Clinicians will also convey and share relevant aspects of this information to other clinicians and supervisors to assist in treatment or to refer the client to another clinician when needed. Such communications will be deidentified, treated as confidential and privacy will be maintained.

 

How the Security of Your Information is Maintained Information is stored electronically and recorded directly into practice software programs or transferred into these from paper records. Paper records are mechanically shredded onsite once they have been converted to a digital record or become otherwise unnecessary. Practice staff and clinicians are trained to avoid leaving private and confidential information where it can be viewed by others. Files and programs are accessed only via password by authorised staff and clinicians.

 

Transferring Health Information Adult clients, Carers/guardians, or mature adolescent clients may arrange to have access to or copies of some or all of their mental health records by speaking to their clinician or another staff member and agreeing on an appropriate format. Provision of personal mental/health information to third parties will require written client/parental/legal guardian or mature adolescent client consent and this will be noted and copied into the record. Where a third party requests the information from the practice about a client, an appropriate staff member or clinician would discuss the request with the mature client or the parent/legal guardian(s) and written consent would be sought before the request was acted upon.

 

This practice prefers to transfer client information to GPs, clinicians, or others the client requests, digitally, by email and fax. Clients should initiate their request for information with their clinician or with administrative or reception staff in person or by phone, letter or fax. The request will be followed up with a phone call or email to the client or client parent/legal guardian for confirmation of information to be sent and to whom.

Audit and Research From time to time, Collaboration House Psychology may participate in practice audits and research. Audits and research are important ways of maintaining high standards in practice. Privacy and confidentiality of records would be protected by de-identification. Informed consent would be secured in any other case.

 

Teenagers and Young Adults As a person matures, particularly into later adolescence, they will increasingly take charge of their personal mental/health information and any matters of consent that would arise. Younger adolescents growing towards this maturity may also need to begin taking responsibility for aspects of their mental/health decision-making. For mature and maturing adolescent clients, Collaboration House Psychology will generally continue to encourage all appropriate parental, carer and legal guardian involvement in decision-making, bookings and appointments, as well as general support in co-operation with the older adolescent client who has consented.

 

Access to Medicare Benefits Scheme Information regarding Eligibility for MBS Items Where Collaboration House Psychology (CHP) conducts an enquiry using the MBS Items Online Checker, for each enquiry CHP must obtain the patient's/person acting as the patient's agent's verbal consent. CHP declares that:

  • CHP will inform the patient/person acting as the patient's agent that CHP will be making a request to Medicare systems to ascertain if the selected MBS item codes will be eligible for claiming under the Medicare Benefits Scheme

  • To the best of CHP knowledge, the patient/person acting as the patient's agent has understood CHP’s request; and

  • The patient/person acting as the patient's agent will have provided verbal consent to this enquiry.

 

Access to Personal Information, Questions and Complaints You have a right to seek access to and correct the personal demographic and contact information we hold about you. If you have any questions or concerns about privacy-related issues, please contact us. If you wish to complain about a breach of the Australian Privacy Principles or the handling of your personal information, you may lodge a written complaint. Written complaints are generally responded to within 30 days. Post to: Collaboration House Psychology, P.O. Box 216 Greensborough VIC 3088.

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CHP COVID Safe Plan

Our practice is operating under a COVIDSafe plan and taking necessary precautions to protect your safety on this premises. If you have any queries about what we are currently doing to ensure we maintain an optimal level of safety, please do not hesitate to discuss these efforts with me. Notably, we are unable to eliminate all risk, therefore if I, or anyone who enters the premises tests positive for COVID-19, I will notify you, so you are informed and able to take the necessary precautions. Additionally, in the case where the clinic has an infection, I may be required to notify local health authorities or government bodies. If this is the case, I will only provide the minimum necessary information (in line with QR code check in data) to the relevant authorities. No further details regarding your interactions with myself, and our work together, will be disclosed

 

We're looking forward to hearing from you!

Ph: 0490 973 553

Fax: (03) 8456 6202

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77 Devonshire Road, Watsonia VIC 3087

Privacy Policy | Confidentiality Policy | Non-attendance Policy | Copyright Statement | Copyright 2022 Collaboration House Psychology  All right Reserved.