Telehealth provides many benefits to both providers and patients. How successful telehealth is, well, sometimes that depends on what specialty the physician is providing for. When it comes to mental health and telehealth solutions, there are many ways this tool can be seen as a worthwhile solution.
Here is why…
Ease of Use:
This one goes without speaking further. Telehealth is as easy as having a computer, tablet, or phone and an internet connection. Now, this goes for any specialty and any practice looking to use this solution. However, this can be a great gateway for patients who may be experiencing great bouts of depression or agoraphobia. This also provides access to patients who need you last minute when you still have availability.
Reach New Patients:
Did you know that 56% of U.S. adults with a mental health condition are not receiving the mental healthcare? Many issues contribute to this. These include: not having healthcare, no previous previous mental health diagnosis, or lack of transportation for visits. Regardless of the reason individuals decide not to seek care, now they have other means to receive treatment without leaving their home.
Lack of Mental Health Professionals:
Some areas do not have enough mental health professionals to serve the number of individuals seeking care. For those locations lacking providers, this helps to fill gaps that the lack of providers creates. With telehealth, a provider doesn’t have to be from your direct area. With this being said, however, the patient needs to reside in the state where the psychiatrist is licensed to practice medicine.
Some studies show that patients are more comfortable in their home talking to a psychiatrist. With telehealth, these patients get to stay home and talk about their problems with a licensed professional from the comfort of their couch. Coupled with this, for patients who found a local provider, they can still stop into the office if needed.
It is believed that the separation created by the distance the computer screen creates a sense of safety, security, and privacy for the patients. This leads to a high patient satisfaction rate among patients which leads to patients taking a larger part in their treatment plans.
Are you implementing telehealth solutions at your behavioral health clinic? What kind of feedback are you receiving from you patients? Let us know in the comments below!