In light of COVID-19 pandemic, the healthcare system in US, has changed. More and more, people are seeking out telemedicine services versus, the traditional brick, and mortar physician’s office. This trend also includes telemental health services as well. So what are advantages of services and how are growing to meet the need?
The COVID-19 pandemic definitely thrust for telemedicine forward but many health care providers have been using this type of service for years. What the pandemic is encourage patients’ of telehealth services already in that place. Telehealth is defined “the practice of communicating electronically with at physician, typically via telephone or video chat.” While our hospitals and doctors’ offices have been overcrowded with the very sick COVID-19 patients, use of telemedicine as allowed the burden felt in locations to lessened. Patients call of routine exams, and are many times seen and treated faster than came in physical office location.
Advantages to Telehealth Services
- Enabling patients to follow shelter-in-place restrictions by staying home and away from hospitals, except for emergencies
- Minimizing risk to health care workers and patients by limiting exposure to the coronavirus and other diseases
- Facilitating services for chronic patient monitoring, follow-up visits, therapy appointments and post-operative care
- Employees see the offering of telemedicine benefits as huge priority in examining employment options
Advantages to Telemental Health Services
Like Telehealth services, use of Telemental Health services have also increased this year. A recent mental health survey says that 7 in 10 employees cite, the COVID-19 pandemic as being the most stressful time in their careers. Caring for children who are out of school, caring for loved ones, financial issues, and stress from job changes are some the issues that employees are facing. Business owners see the benefit of telemental health as employees’ access these services in higher numbers. High levels of stress have been known to result in lower productivity, lower morale, and higher absenteeism. Advantages for telemental health include:
- The provision of telemental health services to patients living in rural and under-served areas has significantly reduced psychiatric hospitalization rates.
- Low-income, homebound seniors experienced longer lasting effects of telemental health than those who received in-person mental health services.
- Mental health providers rarely have to perform any physical services on their patients, so telemental health is more plausible than other types of telehealth services.
- There is little or no difference in patient satisfaction with telemental health when compared with face-to-face mental health consultations.
- Although mental health professionals are in short supply, mobile devices are not.
There are some significant advantages to telemedicine services. Zywave explains, “Virtual healthcare is emerging viable solution to help lessen that burden on healthcare facilities and staff while still providing individuals with care they need.” Tele-services also reach more of under-served population both for health care and mental health care. As consumers gain confidence in virtual living, the call for telemedicine also grow.