The telehealth model I would like to be involved in would be videoconferencing. It will be useful to visually see the patient and discussing the specific issues they are having. I would like to utilize videoconferencing as well as store and forward, in order to gather as much relevant information that we need and send it to the attending Dentist. I would like to use this type of telehealth in order to provide care to underserved communities and those without transportation. My role as a dental hygienist would be to collect a thorough med history and dental history, as well as collect as much information regarding the issue the patient is experiencing.
I would like to evaluate the effectiveness of the program at properly treating the patient. If the patient is experiencing minor pain that can be treated with NSAIDs then it would be fine for the Dentist to prescribe medication until the patient can be brought in to complete their treatment. However, if the patient is experiencing a dental emergency, we could get them into the office same day or next day. Legal considerations to consider are being sure that the patient is in a secure location during the telehealth visit. We would want to be sure the patient has given verbal and written consent, through paperwork that we would email to them prior to the telehealth encounter. Depending on the type of issue the patient is having I would like to include their primary care physician to ensure that they are aware of their patient’s condition, as well as provide any additional insight to their history that could be of use to the dental team. Again, I would ask the patient to provide verbal consent during the video conferencing call and have them fill out a written consent provided to them through a secure email prior to initiating the telehealth visit.