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The Telehealth Wheelchair Service Provision Logo. An abstract illustration of a person in a wheelchair. Telehealth Wheelchair Service Provision Online Course is a Course

Telehealth Wheelchair Service Provision Online Course



Full course description

This fully online course provides an outline on the provision of wheelchair seating and mobility services through telehealth (TH) strategies. For individuals with conditions like spinal cord injuriy/disorder (SCI/D), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and ALS, travel to obtain care can be challenging and potentially dangerous. For this reason, the provision of specialty care via TH modalities provides an opportunity to reach clients in their homes, eliminating the risks of travel.

General TH guidelines have evolved, with position papers and guidelines developed to ensure the provision of best practice. However, there are very limited guidelines regarding the provision of complex rehabilitation technology (CRT), including custom manual and power wheelchair, scooters, and associated accessories. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, TH options were exponentially expanded to allow clients to remain in their homes. Thus, SCI/D providers have gained experience and expanded the applications of existing TH strategies to sufficiently provide CRT remotely.

Now that TH is more widely utilized, there is a need for formalized strategies, guidelines, and training specific to CRT. The Telehealth Wheelchair Service Provision Online Course (TWSPO) was developed in response to this need.

TWSPO consists of four modules:

  • Module 1: Introduction to Telehealth
    • Definitions, global standards of practice, and guidelines set forth by professional organizations.
    • Regulatory and professional practice considerations such as patient confidentiality, state licensure and practice laws, ethics, and liability.
    • Technological methods such as videoconferencing hardware/software, connectivity, and information management.
  • Module 2: Telehealth Best Practices
    • The RESNA Wheelchair Service Provision Guide (SPG) in the context of Telehealth
    • How general best-practice steps can (or cannot) be deployed via various types of TH.
  • Module 3: Etiquette & Logistics
    • Recommendations for various professional groups.
    • Telehealth Complex Rehabilitation Technology (CRT) checklist.
  • Module 4: Model Client Case Studies
    • Cases will demonstrate the telehealth process from start to finish.
    • Cases will vary based on clients’ needs, preferences, and situation.

Target Audience: Any rehabilitation providers involved in the provision of complex rehabilitation technology for people with SCI/D, MS, ALS, and other severe disabilities.

Examples include, but are not limited to: Occupational and Physical Therapists, Rehabilitation Physicians and Physician Assistants, Nurses, Social Workers and Case Managers, CRT Suppliers, and Rehabilitation Technicians

Program Goals: At the conclusion of this course, participants will be able to…

  • Expertly define telehealth and its best practices in the context of complex rehabilitation technology provision
  • Outline and explain the telehealth delivery process from start to finish, beginning with initial assessment and through to follow-up with the consumer
  • Adaptively navigate diverse cases to solve problems and overcome unexpected hurdles

Participant Expectation: Course is online, self-paced, and asynchronous. Required content time is approximately 2 hours. 

Program Components: Content includes webinar lectures, video case studies, reading materials, and examinations. Content is administered via the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS).

Featured Educators: Course instructors are University of Pittsburgh faculty with backgrounds in telehealth, rehabilitation therapy, and complex rehabilitation technology provision.

  • Richard Schein, PhD, MPH
  • Andi Saptono, PhD
  • Rachel Hibbs, DPT, NCS, ATP
  • Mark Schmeler, PhD, OTR/L, ATP
  • Kyle Walker, MHA, ATP

For More Information: This project was funded by the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) Grant #863


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