Clinical psychology students and clinicians in regional and remote areas face challenges accessing required supervision and peer consultation. Distance supervision using existing online conferencing tools (e.g., SKYPE) is one option, but limitations of existing platforms require an external method of initiating a supervisory relationship and securely sharing confidential documents and videos. This paper addresses the development of an e-supervision application to overcome these limitations, and examines issues inherent to such a development.
A newly developed e-supervision application provides online access to a database of clinical supervisors and peers for students to search, contact and meet, with additional document sharing and video annotation tools to support standard supervision activities. The authors provide a selected review of clinical, technical, legal and ethical considerations that have arising during the design, development and testing of this application.
Technological barriers exist, both in internet capacity in rural areas, and with institutions allowing access to common meeting platforms. Online interactions necessitate a different communication style, which may deter new users. The highly confidential and sensitive nature of supervision resources (client videos and notes) requires the implementation of best practice security measures, and consideration of Australian Privacy law and informed consent procedures for clients.
Issues around online security, confidentiality and verification of users need to be considered and addressed in the development of online supervision services. User perceptions of security and utility will ultimately determine uptake of online supervision services, and further investigation of user perceptions is required.