A lot of things have changed in recent years with mental health services, and some of the biggest changes have come from technology. The way people communicate is drastically altered with the sheer number of video chatting platforms that offer ways to keep in touch with friends and family, meet with colleagues across the globe, and even meet with your therapist. For many people, the ability to access mental health services through telehealth provides an essential link to something they may not otherwise be able to get.
“Telemental” services is a broad term, but generally it means delivering care to your clients remotely. That could be a few miles, or several hundreds of miles away, through the use of a secure video conferencing platform. It is important that you get a platform specifically designed for telemental services, so you remain compliant with all HIPAA and patient privacy laws.
If your clinic is not offering telemental services to clients, here are three reasons you should start.
1: More People Can Get Care
Offering mental health services through a telehealth platform allows you to reach even more patients, since they don’t need to come to your clinic or office. That is helpful for clients with mobility issues or lack of reliable transportation. In addition, it opens your clinic to provide more care to people in rural areas who may be too far away to drive to your office. Finally, it can be a great bridge for patients who normally come in person, but who are traveling and don’t want to interrupt their treatment protocols, or who experience challenges that make it hard for them to get to your clinic on some days.
2: Eliminates the Stigma of Mental Health
Millions of people could benefit from mental health services, but a significant portion of the population doesn’t seek care because they are worried about the stigma. They may avoid getting care just to avoid being seen going into a mental health facility. Telemental care offers every patient a chance to get the help they need from anywhere, including the privacy and security of their own home, office, or other private space.
3: Clinical Benefits
There are significant benefits that telehealth can provide for your mental health clinic. You may be able to fit in more patients each day without extending your clinic hours or requiring counselors and providers to work more hours. This can help patients as well by cutting down on the wait time to get in for their first appointment with a mental health professional, which averages about 25 days nationwide. You can also cut down on things like clients arriving late because of traffic or other delays, which can cause cascading delays for the entire day.
There are so many benefits that telemedicine can provide to you and your clients. If you’ve been thinking about implementing a telehealth platform, call AdvancedMD today and we can talk to you about our platform that caters to the needs of small and independent mental health facilities.