Telehealth for Mental Health: How Virtual Visits Can Expand Access to Therapy
Telehealth has boosted the healthcare industry by providing a more convenient way of health consultation for patients and providers.
Most US healthcare practices have recommended the Telehealth platform to their patients and have continuously adopted the platform for better healthcare conveniently.
Telehealth Claims increased by over 4000% nationally, according to a survey. 70% of patients who use the telehealth platform would recommend it to others.
The Global Market value of the telehealth platform was valued at 288.92 Million and is expected to reach USD 633.76 Million by 2027.
It has played a major role in the healthcare of patients with specific health conditions including Mental Health Patients. Mental health patients have a wide range of challenges such as Mobility, Access, Isolation, and Co-occurring disorders.
The Implementation of Telehealth has made a great impact on Mental Health Patients who face many challenges. From reducing the in-person visit to patient engagement, it offers a vast range of benefits. This blog post will walk you through How Telehealth’s virtual visits expand access to Mental Health Therapy.
The Rise of Telehealth For Mental Health
The Adoption of Telehealth platforms for mental health has rapidly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. It offers patients and providers with more convenient way of healthcare service through video calls and other online technology.
The Implementation of telehealth is not just held there, it continues to evolve over the period. One of the major achievements is the rise of telehealth platforms has significantly reduced the shortage of mental health professionals.
Telehealth platform makes it easier for patients to see psychiatrists, therapists, and counselors that may located away from the healthcare practice.
Many researchers have indicated telehealth platform is just another effective way of in-person treatments for conditions like depression and anxiety.
The Convenience and privacy of telehealth make it easier for mental health patients to access and remain consistent with treatment plans.
Though it provides many benefits and convenience for mental health patients, challenges like insurance coverage and getting comfortable with the technology remain. But in common, the telehealth platform for mental health is becoming mainstream.
Related: Telehealth Tactics: Integrating Virtual Visits Functions into Patient Portals for Specialized Practices
How Virtual Visits Expand Access to Therapy
One such area in the Telehealth platform that has seen enormous growth is the use of virtual visits for mental health treatment.
While in-person therapy remains the gold standard, therapy appointments via online video chats or phone calls can expand access to mental health patient care.
Here are the key benefits of telehealth for mental healthcare and How virtual visits are transforming the therapists-patient relationship.
1. Expand Access to Care
One of the major benefits of Teletherapy is that it increases access to mental health patients for those who previously struggled to get care.
With the help of teletherapy sessions, the geographic challenges, mobility, and transportation to the therapist's practice are no longer barriers.
Additionally, teletherapy expands options for matching patients and providers who specialize in specific health therapy approaches, experiences, or demographics.
The physical location of the therapist doesn’t even matter when mental health patients connect with the therapists virtually.
2. Convenience and Flexibility
Many mental health patients avoid getting treatments physically because of the fear of getting exposed or recognized during the waiting times.
They also have other concerns like traveling to the therapist's physical practice place, scheduling, and others. This can be a barrier and headache for mental health patients and exaggerate the existing mental illness.
Teletherapy offers great flexibility and convenience for patients who find it difficult to in-person visits to the physical healthcare practice. Mental health patients can benefit from the teletherapy sessions:
- Schedule appointments conveniently reducing the wait times.
- Appointments with the physicians can take place outside the practice.
- Joining teletherapy sessions conveniently at home without the need for in-person visits.
The flexibility also enables easier access to more frequent treatments for those who benefit from multiple therapy sessions per week. Virtual sessions enable the providers to see more patients every day without negotiating robust care.
3. Comfort and Anonymity
Patients who find it more comfortable opening up from home than in person can benefit from the telehealth platform. Some Mental Health patients will feel more comfortable to open-up everything in the mental health therapy sessions from the familiarity of their home environment than with in-person therapy visits.
Also, it reduces anxiety for some patients who feel stress while traveling. Virtual patients make anonymity for patients who prefer not to be exposed to people about they are seeking mental health illness treatments.
With teletherapy carried out personally with the patients, they may have great confidence and confidentiality in their mental illness treatment sessions.
4. Customized Treatment Plans
With the help of teletherapy sessions, healthcare providers can able to gain access to patients' behavior by observing their natural home environment.
The setting can provide clues to inform diagnosis and treatment plans. Patients also appreciate being able to point to or show relevant objects during the teletherapy sessions.
With the patient's consent, therapists can also engage the patient’s family members from a remote setting. Virtual family therapy sessions make it easier to coordinate schedules and make it easier to improve family functions.
Challenges and Solutions of Telehealth for Mental Health
Though telehealth offers a vast range of benefits, the implementation of Telehealth for Mental Health also has a few challenges to navigate for better patient outcomes.
- Building trust remotely: It can be more difficult for therapists and mental health patients to establish a strong connection remotely without in-person interaction.
- Accessing symptoms and body language virtually: Subtle symptoms and body language of the patients that aid diagnosis may be missed over a video call.
- Technical difficulties: Poor internet connectivity, low video and audio quality issues, and lack of tech literacy can disrupt the teletherapy sessions.
- Allow in-person visits to patients to build a strong rapport and alliance before going to online sessions. Maintain eye contact and attentive listening skills during video sessions.
- Ask patients to describe more in-depth the symptoms and movements to compensate for remote evaluation. Consider occasional in-office visits.
- Provide technical support resources and test connectivity/equipment before visits. Select user-friendly, HIPAA-compliant software platforms. Offer tech training if needed.
Telehealth Solution From Vozo
Telehealth offers a significant benefit for both providers and patients.
Leveraging the Vozo Telehealth and EHR Integration lets to create a more streamlined workflow for your Mental Health Practice.
With a vast range of features like scheduling appointments, audio/video/text consultation, analytics & reporting, better access to care, etc, healthcare providers and patients can:
- Reach patients remotely, ensuring more flexibility around appointment times.
- Saves travel time for patients and makes it easier to fit appointments into busy schedules.
- Telehealth allows anonymity and ensures patients feel more comfortable opening up from the privacy of their home space rather than in-person therapist visits.
- It eliminates the transportation cost of getting to appointments.
- It also reduces overhead costs like rent and admin staff for therapists who can conduct remote sessions, many insurance companies do cover teletherapy as well.
- Telehealth makes it easy to maintain regular appointments, especially for patients who travel frequently or move locations.
- Therapists and patients can connect through the telehealth platform from anywhere.
By leveraging the Vozo Telehealth solution, providers can reduce the burdens and focus more on better patient outcomes remotely.
Reach out to Vozo and Leverage cutting-edge telehealth solutions for better mental health patient care.