COVID-19 Information for Audiology Australia Members
Given current concerns about coronavirus (COVID-19), it is important that Audiology Australia members understand how to keep yourself and the people that you support healthy.
As an essential service providing health services to the community, audiologists can continue to provide services to their clients over this period. This is consistent with Federal Government advice as of 26 March 2020. However, Audiology Australia continues to monitor the situation if any advice on this matter changes.
AUDIOLOGY AUSTRALIA OPERATIONS, PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND MEMBER SERVICES UPDATES
Members are encouraged to view updates from Audiology Australia CEO, Dr Tony Coles relating to membership arrangements during this period.
16 March 2020 - The update can be accessed here.
20 March 2020 - The update can be accessed here.
23 March 2020 - The update can be accessed here.
26 March 2020 - The update can be accessed here.
3 April 2020 - The update can be accessed here.
Further emails will be sent to members outlining operations during this time in the coming days and members can call Audiology Australia for any further information or support on 03 9940 3900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
ETHICS REVIEW COMMITTEE: ADVICE FOR AUDIOLOGY AUSTRALIA MEMBERS
The Ethics Review Committee (ERC) is a body committed to ensuring the highest standards of ethical practice in the hearing health sector. You can read more about the ERC here.
The ERC has compiled a series of Frequently Asked Questions that may assist members. You can download a copy of the FAQs here.
INFORMATION AND UPDATES FROM THE HEARING SERVICES PROGRAM
For the latest information from the Hearing Services Program from 3 April, please click here.
INFORMATION FROM AON INSURANCE
AON Insurance has provided updates to members in relation to COVID-19. These can be found here and here.
UPDATE REGARDING TELEHEALTH SERVICES
The Government has made new temporary MBS telehealth items available to help reduce the risk of community transmission of COVID-19 and provide protection for patients and health care providers. The new arrangements commence for allied health providers as of Monday 30 March and will be in place until 30 September 2020 (but are subject to further review).
Audiology Australia has developed a fact sheet, available for members here. This fact sheet was last updated on 7 April 2020.
Further details about temporary telehealth bulk-billed items for COVID-19 are available here.
UPDATE FOR ALLIED HEALTH PROFESSIONALS BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
The Department of Health is holding updates regarding COVID-19 for Allied Health Practitioners.
16 March 2020: You can view a recording here. During the recording, it is mentioned that there will be resources made available for audiologists. These will be linked here when available.
2 April 2020: You can view a recording here. A transcript of aspects relevant to audiologists is available here.
9 April 2020: The link for this upcoming webinar will be available here.
GENERAL RESOURCES AND LINKS
Members are advised to keep up to date with COVID-19 developments by regularly reviewing the information on the Commonwealth Department of Health website. Resources include:
Coronavirus (COVID-19) health alert - updated every day with the latest medical advice and official reports.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources for health professionals, including pathology providers and healthcare managers: A collection of resources for health professionals, including pathology providers and healthcare managers, about coronavirus (COVID-19).
Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources: A collection of resources for the general public, health professionals and industry about coronavirus
On 26 March, a letter to allied health professionals was distributed by the Department of Health, outlining further guidance and information. To view the letter, click here.
Members are also advised to review their State or Territory Department of Health websites for additional relevant information. The links to State and Territory Department of Health websites are listed below:
Latest information about Novel Coronavirus in the ACT
Resources for health professionals on Novel Coronavirus, including Chief Health Officer alerts
Northern Territory Department of Health
Latest updates of Novel Coronavirus in the Northern Territory
Latest updates including resources to support health professionals in response to Novel Coronavirus
Resources for health professionals, including pathology providers and healthcare managers
Novel Coronavirus infection information for health professionals
Tasmanian Department of Health
Novel Coronavirus information
Victorian Department of Health and Human Services
Resources for health services and general practitioners on Novel Coronavirus
Information on Novel Coronavirus, including factsheets and updates for health professionals and GPs
GUIDELINES FOR THE PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF INFECTION
During this time, it is also crucial that members are aware of and maintaining appropriate hygiene standards and procedures for preventing and controlling infection.
The Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare are available here. These outline the basic principles of infection prevention and control and can be applied to a wide range of healthcare settings.
To gain a better understanding of infection control and practical strategies for preventing and controlling infections, a free 30 minute eLearning module “Supporting People to Stay Infection Free” is available. The module is designed for people delivering services under the National Disability Insurance Scheme but the principles and strategies will be relevant for all health services and settings.
In addition, we recommend that members consider implementing extra precautions for their clinical services such as asking consumers if they have been overseas in the last two weeks when you are confirming or booking their appointments.
TRAINING FOR INFECTION CONTROL
The Department of Health commissioned the development of online infection control training. An Infection Control training module has been developed for use by care workers across the health, aged care, disability and childcare sector.
You can access the training here: https://covid-19training.com.au/
Members who complete the training can claim 1 CPD point (Category 3.2) as a non-endorsed event.
INFORMATION FOR MEMBERS WORKING WITH THE NDIS
The latest information for providers working with the NDIS is available here.
INFORMATION FOR EMPLOYEES
WorkSafe Victoria has provided employees with information about working safely during this time. Please click here for more information.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has also provided information for employees to understand their workplace entitlements during this time. Please click here for more information.
INFORMATION FOR BUSINESSES AND EMPLOYERS
For information about financial assistance, eligibility and timing of Federal government business support, please click here.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has provided information for employers to understand their obligations during this time. Please click here for more information.
OTHER RESOURCES, GUIDELINES, TOOLS AND SUPPORT
Please note below a range of external tools, resources, guidelines and suppport mechanisms that are currently available. This information may be useful to members in planning and managing clinics and public health at this time.
The American Academy of Audiology has released COVID-19 and clinical recommendations for audiology practices. For further information, please click here.
Ian Henderson has kindly provided a document with suggested guidelines for audiology practice at this time. To view the document, please click here.
The European Association of Hearing Aid Professionals has developed a document with suggested guidelines. To view the document, please click here.
Cochrane has provided information for clinicians, including around the use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). To view, please click here.
UPDATES FOR MEMBERS IN NEW SOUTH WALES
PHN Hunter New England and Central Coast has resources available for anyone working in this network. For further information, please click here.
* Information last updated 9 April, 1.29 pm AEST.