In recent years, telehealth has been rapidly gaining favor among both patients and practitioners. For behavioral health providers, it offers a range of benefits, simplifying and enhancing how they provide care. Today, we will delve into the five key advantages of telehealth for these professionals, demonstrating how this technological shift is transforming the landscape of behavioral health services.
The Benefits of Telehealth for Behavioral Health Are Far Reaching
The benefits of telehealth for behavioral health cannot be overstated, particularly in light of the increase in mental illness affecting millions of Americans. Telehealth services have increased significantly from 2019 to 2022, with the percentage of mental health facilities offering telehealth jumping from 40% to a staggering 88%. Importantly, additional research has shown that telehealth is a viable alternative to in-person treatment, with no significant differences between symptom management and reduction. This approach to mental health care delivery has proven accessible and practical, making it a vital resource for those in need.
Here are a few more tangible benefits afforded by telehealth for mental health:
1. Greater Accessibility
The inaccessibility of mental health treatment, particularly in certain states where options may be limited, is a significant issue. Fortunately, with telehealth, individuals can receive comprehensive care for their behavioral health needs from their chosen setting and on their schedules, eliminating obstacles like transportation and the need to take time off from work.
This technology ensures equitable access to mental health services, making it a crucial piece in addressing the impact of untreated mental health conditions. It expands the reach of mental health care beyond the limitations of physical location, increasing access to underserved populations, like rural communities, where the need for mental health services is often greater.
2. Improved Treatment Adherence & Efficacy
One of the significant advantages of telehealth is the improved treatment adherence it facilitates. Patients can easily adhere to their treatment plan, continually accessing care via virtual platforms. Telehealth also allows providers to manage patients better, offering consistent monitoring and evaluation for regular follow-up and necessary adjustments.
Patients can complete their treatment at their convenience, eliminating the need for travel and time-consuming in-person visits, which can be a significant challenge for many patients. With telehealth, patients can fit their appointments into their schedules without compromising the quality of care received. Additionally, studies have shown that there are no significant differences in reducing depression symptoms through telehealth in comparison to in-person treatment.
3. Reduced Provider Burnout
Provider burnout has become a major concern in the healthcare industry, with burnout levels reaching an alarming 63% by the end of 2021—this 38% increase from 2020 highlights the need for innovative solutions to address the issue. Telehealth can significantly reduce provider burnout, as it offers a convenient and effective way to access care on their own behalf. Doing so reduces the stigma surrounding mental health and encourages providers to seek help when needed. Furthermore, by reducing provider burnout, telehealth helps improve the quality of care provided, reduces medical errors, and lowers healthcare costs, ultimately benefiting the entire healthcare system.
4. Peace of Mind Regarding Data Security
HIPAA compliance is a necessary component of healthcare, and the best telehealth platform will be entirely compliant with rules and regulations relating to protected health information (PHI). A HIPAA-compliant telehealth platform means that patients and providers can rest assured that sensitive data communicated through the platform is always protected with advanced security measures such as secure data storage with encryption.
5. Improved Workflows
One of the most significant advantages of telehealth is how it can mimic, and even improve on already-existing workflows for behavioral health practices. Advancements in the tools available to providers help to foster a more profound therapeutic relationship between them and their patients or clients. These include:
- Scheduling and appointment tools, which offer stress-free scheduling to suit busy lifestyles. With public-facing scheduling features, patients can even request a session at their convenience, improving their mental health and well-being.
- E-Documents, which provide an easy and efficient way to build patient paperwork into the virtual process. Assigning documents to patients ahead of their session allows them to quickly and easily complete needed information, and even sign forms electronically.
- Secure chat, which supports asynchronous care, and breaks down communication barriers. By launching a chat session with a patient, they can express their concerns, and receive instant feedback from providers in real time. This can provide comfort for patients who may not be able to express themselves verbally.
- Group sessions, which offer a tremendous therapeutic advantage to patients. These allow them to learn from other perspectives, reduce feelings of isolation, increase engagement and ultimately create a supportive environment for all participants.
SecureVideo Offers a Robust Telehealth Platform for Behavioral Healthcare Professionals
The use of telehealth in behavioral healthcare not only increases accessibility and improves treatment adherence but also reduces provider burnout, maintains HIPAA compliance, and offers advanced features for enhanced patient care. Implementing telehealth in behavioral health care is not a mere option but an essential tool for improving the quality of mental health services.
SecureVideo offers a robust telehealth platform tailored specifically for the unique needs of behavioral healthcare professionals. Don’t let barriers to care or busy schedules stand in the way of providing or receiving quality mental health care. Choose SecureVideo today and take the first step towards a healthier, more accessible future for behavioral healthcare.