Advocacy & aged care: an update for podiatrists (part 3)
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) has released an advanced copy of the latest guidance on telehealth consultation with patients, to become effective in September 2023. Here’s what you need to know.
As technology continues to advance and the demand for remote healthcare services grows, the latest guidelines, written by the Medical Board of Australia, are designed to ensure that the standard of care provided through telehealth consultations remains safe.
Whilst presenting as more comprehensive than the existing guidelines, the Australian Podiatry Association (APodA) encourages podiatrists to read these impending guidelines within the context of APodA’s growing library of telehealth resources.
These resources include:
- ‘Telehealth Consultations Guide for Podiatrists’
- ‘Telehealth for podiatry’ podcasts
- ‘Telehealth webinar; Questions and Answers
- ‘Online Podiatry – Accessing Health Experts with Telehealth Technology‘
- ‘RACGP telehealth video consultation guide‘
- Information on third party payers who are currently funding Telehealth
- Suggested software platforms
If you want to learn more about telehealth, and your role in its service provision, there are plenty of opportunities to do just that. For example:
- Ahpra has created a guide for practitioners which reflects, amongst other issues, on telehealth in the context of the code of conduct.
- In addition to the APodA resources listed above, this article by Coviu offers interesting insights in the meantime on the concept of ‘efficient telehealth’ – and how to support this outcome in your practice.
- To read up on an example of telehealth working in practice, the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research published this recently released paper.
- If you’re into podcasts, this short podcast shares an interview with the CEO and founder of Coviu, Dr Silvia Pfieffer, who discusses how the CSIRO helped to shape the future of telehealth.
Remember to keep an eye out on future telehealth updates from APodA which will arise from a series of collaborative and member-driven projects that are currently taking place.
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Journal Club is set to launch!
Do you run a practice and you know you need to create content, yet you’re staring at a blank screen? Here’s how to kickstart this process (and why it can help to give knowledge away for free).
In the ever-evolving world of content marketing, it’s understandable to worry about sharing too much content with your clients, especially if it is your expertise that you are sharing via articles and social media updates. Giving away such insights for free feels almost counterintuitive, yet it’s exactly what your clients are likely to want to read and it’s likely to keep them loyal to your clinic.
The bottom line is that if you’re a podiatrist who runs your own business, you can’t afford to be invisible. Sharing valuable content will help you nurture a thriving community, both online and offline.
Here’s why content marketing is your secret weapon.
Picture this: you’ve got all this incredible knowledge about foot and lower limb pain, but if you keep it locked away, how will anyone know about your expertise? It’s time to shine a spotlight on what you know. By sharing high-quality content on your website, blogs, and social media platforms, you attract potential clients who are seeking help and, until they read your content, perhaps didn’t know where to turn for this support.
How to stand out
Be solution-focused in your content whenever possible. Your clients don’t want to be bombarded with pushy messages; they want solutions to their foot and lower limb problems.
Whether it’s mobility issues, a lack of freedom to move as they please, or persistent walking pain, you hold the key to their relief. By addressing these pain points (literally and figuratively) through your content, you become their go-to podiatrist. Plus, satisfied clients will sing your praises in community-based online groups and help expedite word-of-mouth recommendations. Don’t underestimate the power of delivering value upfront. It’s like laying the foundation for a long-lasting relationship.
Provide a solution offline
To build on the above point, don’t be afraid to offer solutions that may even negate the need for a client to visit you. Surely, this doesn’t make sense, right? Wrong. What you’re doing is helping to build trust in your potential client, so that when they have a foot or lower limb issue that can’t be resolved through some simple advice in your blog, you’ll be the first person they’re likely to think of. For example, a simple article on footwear may help guide your potential client to a satisfactory outcome without the need to visit you. This time. By becoming the source of valuable information, you become their trusted guide over time—and top of mind when they need to visit a podiatrist.
Think about who you want to reach
Take some time to sit down (if you haven’t already) and really think about the types of clients you enjoy helping where possible. Or whether you even have a preference.
For example, do you enjoy working with babies and children, or perhaps aged care is where your passion lies—or maybe sports/biomechanics are where your interests lie. Have you taken a look at the Career Framework opportunities, available to members of the APodA to explore? This could spark some additional thinking along these lines.
Perhaps you’re regionally based and prefer not to zero in on a particular type of potential client, instead becoming more generalist in your approach? Content marketing is not just a numbers game; it’s about attracting the right clients—those who value your experience and expertise.
By sharing your insights and speaking to those you want to reach, you filter out those who aren’t the right fit for your practice, leaving you with a community of loyal and appreciative clients.
Don’t be afraid to be personal
All too often, it’s tempting to want to keep your business ‘professional,’ which invariably means taking out the personal side of it. Yet there is a way to remain professional while also sharing the personal as a key part of your brand. Bring out the human side of your practice—share who is on the team, open up around what are they passionate about. Did something funny happen in your clinic that you want to share on social media (not patient-related, of course)? Then don’t be afraid to be personal in your content marketing efforts. This will fast track your opportunities to build an online community. So, stand out and make an impression.
Give away a lot, but not everything
There’s a trick to this. Let’s say you’re writing an article on plantar fasciitis. If your point of difference lies in the “how” of your podiatry services when it comes to treating plantar fasciitis, then talk more about the “what” and “why.” Don’t give away your point of difference, talk around it instead.
By striking this balance, you’ll build a rich and engaging content marketing strategy that keeps you ahead of the competition—without giving everything away.
No matter which path you take with your content, make it a priority to meaningfully connect with your community, which can help to pave the way for a pipeline of potential clients who will keep you top of mind when their foot health needs it the most!
Is ChatGPT right for me?
Having a tough time at work, or in your personal life? Remember that help is available to APodA members via the Member Assistance Program, which provides a comprehensive and confidential counselling service.
If you are a member of the Australian Podiatry Association (APodA), you may already be aware that the Member Assistance Program functions similarly to an employee assistance program. It is designed to provide support and guidance on a range of personal and work-related issues.
Offering up to four free counselling sessions per year, the Member Assistance Program offers a safe and confidential space where you can discuss a wide range of issues.
Whether you’re experiencing work-life balance concerns, personal relationship challenges, workplace bullying, addiction issues, interpersonal conflicts, financial difficulties, grief, loss, trauma, or mental health struggles, the program’s counsellors are here to support you. These professionals specialise in providing short-term, professional assistance tailored to your unique needs.
Why choose the Member Assistance Program
The APodA partners with Converge International, a reputable organisation that specialises in providing independent and confidential counselling services. The Member Assistance Program aims to help you manage and overcome various concerns that may impact your personal and professional life. By offering a safe and non-judgmental environment, the program encourages open and honest discussions, leading to improved mental well-being and resilience.
How to access the Member Assistance Program
This is a straightforward process that ensures your convenience and privacy. Here are the steps you can take to book a counselling session:
Step 1: Contact the program using one of the following methods:
- Phone: Call 1300 687 327 and speak to an intake officer who will assist you in scheduling an appointment at a time that suits you.
- Mobile app: Download the ‘EAP Connect’ app to book your appointment conveniently.
- Website: Visit convergeinternational.com.au and click on ‘Contact Us’ to access the program’s contact information.
Step 2: At the agreed-upon appointment time, a counsellor will reach out to you via phone or arrange a face-to-face meeting at one of Converge International’s national locations.
Additional resources and support
In addition to counselling services, Converge International provides a wealth of helpful resources that you can access for further support. Some of these resources include downloadable tips on anxiety management strategies as well as mental health and stress management techniques. These resources offer valuable information and strategies to help you navigate through challenging times and promote overall well-being.
Take advantage of this service to enhance your overall wellbeing and find the support you need. Remember, help is just a phone call away, 24/7, 365 days a year.
The maximum number of weekly hours an employee can perform is 38 hours according to the Employment Standards (NES). For part-time employees, their maximum is typically based on the lesser of either 38 hours or their own normal ordinary hours.
While it is possible for an employer to request that an employee work beyond this limit, it’s important to be aware that this request is subject to certain factors that influence just how reasonable these hours are, and the employee’s ability to refuse this request.
A recent case in the Federal Court of Australia ruled against an employer for breaching these provisions. This article will examine that case and consider best practice principles for employers moving forward.
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