Written by: JBradley
Telehealth has become a commonplace practice across the U.S., especially since it's been beneficial in light of the pandemic. In fact, APA’s poll reveals that 59% of Americans prefer using telehealth services for mental healthcare. Half of the respondents even stated that they will continue to use telehealth services after the pandemic because it gives them greater access to professional help. Indeed, telehealth breaks down barriers by providing accessible treatment and consultation options for people's mental health needs. Here are just some of the available services:
Online therapy is a service that allows patients to communicate with a licensed therapist through a digital platform. This service existed long before the pandemic. However, following the rise of telehealth services, patients now have more avenues to apply for online therapy sessions. SymptomFind’s resources on health and wellness offer plenty of insight on virtual health services. This includes a comprehensive guide to mental health that details one's options for online therapy. Patients can opt to text, call, or video chat with their therapist, depending on their budget and comfort level. Some services are even covered by insurance, providing more individuals with the means to seek professional help for their mental wellness.
Telehealth services can also reduce emergency room visits by offering immediate access to professional healthcare services online. This is very important when it comes to mental healthcare since the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality revealed that one in eight emergency room visits is a case regarding mental health. A journal article published on Springer Nature even emphasizes that psychological telehealth services are critical when it comes to individuals with severe mental health illness as well as those in emergency situations. Through telehealth services, patients in critical condition can immediately access help, preventing detrimental outcomes.
Remote Monitoring Programs
Remote patients can also seek quality mental healthcare through monitoring programs. Sensors and wearable technologies like electrodermal sensors are used to monitor the mental and emotional state of patients from afar, as stated in a research study on NCBI. This helps healthcare professionals acquire measurable and accurate information, which they use to provide specialized services. Apps like Talkspace also allow providers to monitor patients through their online symptom tracker. With such programs, healthcare professionals can track their patients' day-to-day status, allowing them to measure their progress and intervene when things escalate.
Provider and Patient Education
Telehealth services also provide better access to patients and providers who want to learn more about mental health. When it comes to patient education, their knowledge of mental health allows them to take a more active role in recovery. This helps manage their emotional state and cope with any conditions they may have. On the other hand, telehealth services are also important for providers who want to take their practice to the online platform. The AIHC points out that providers need to adjust and educate themselves on how to use telehealth services because there are different licensure and etiquette protocols to follow on the platform. Though providers may already have an established routine with their patients, it’s still vital for them to get training or certification on telehealth. This is so they can provide the best care for their patients.
Thanks to technology, patients struggling with their mental health can access professional help. On the other hand, health professionals can extend their services to patients outside of their immediate proximity, allowing them to help more people. No doubt, telehealth is a huge help in improving peoples' mental health and wellness.
To learn more about the demands of telehealth service, medical providers can read through the American Institute of Healthcare Compliance's resources to improve the quality of their offers. We also provide several learning opportunities so that providers can increase their knowledge of patient care.