Insights Report: Can telehealth change the way mental healthcare is delivered?

Overview

Telehealth has been around since the 1940s but now more than ever; it’s proving to be a vital lifeline when it comes to offering uninterrupted access to mental healthcare. Unfortunately, the psychological impacts of COVID-19 have yet to be fully understood, but what we do know is that it’s led to a new mental health epidemic. With that comes a sharp increase in the need for reliable access to professional mental healthcare support. But, with many organizations and clinics still limiting in-person appointments, there’s another answer that offers effective, ongoing support – and that’s telehealth.

The new epidemic

Research has shown that 36% of Americans feel that COVID-19 has seriously impacted their mental health. Behavioural healthcare organizations need to be prepared with systems and tools for the increase in patients seeking support for their mental health. Enter digital healthcare. Digital healthcare enables providers to care for patients using digital tools, which help eliminate time and space barriers for providers and patients with features that touch every part of the patient journey. With technology, providers can leverage digital healthcare tools that enable mental healthcare patients to receive care when and where they need it most.

Key stat

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36% of Americans feel that COVID-19 has seriously impacted their mental health

Removing barriers to mental healthcare

Telehealth platforms are an excellent way to increase accessibility to mental healthcare:

Increase feelings of safety.

Allowing patients to access mental health support from the comfort and safety of their own homes is a considerable advantage compared to in-person sessions. In fact, 77% of patients say that safety is a major factor when choosing to use telehealth.1

Increase high-impact touchpoints.

Providers are now seeing 50 to 175 times the number of patients with telehealth than they did before COVID. It’s clear that telehealth helps providers and healthcare organization’s provide continued access to vital mental health support services and care programs, moving beyond clinic walls and into patients homes.

Save time and money.

Telehealth platforms allow each practitioner to treat more patients more effectively and reduce no shows. Over 57% of providers say they view telemedicine more favorably than before the pandemic, and are actually more inclined to use it in order to maximize efficiency, help automate their business, and provide better care to patients in the long-term.2

Enhance healthcare accessibility.

Offering virtual appointments removes time and space barriers by making healthcare more accessible for patients. For example, 69% of patients choose to use technology to access healthcare services they otherwise wouldn’t be able to receive. Moreover, 47% of patients agree that immediate availability makes healthcare more accessible, and they’re more likely to use telehealth as a result.3

1. https://www.kyruus.com/hubfs/Whitepapers/Reports/Kyruus%202020%20Patient%20Perspectives%20on%20Virtual%20Care%20Report.pdf
2. https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare-systems-and-services/our-insights/telehealth-a-quarter-trillion-dollar-post-covid-19-reality
3. https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/3053445/Doctor_Telemedicine_Survey_Infografic.pdf

Key stats

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60-90% of providers offer some kind of online service

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Trafalgar experienced 300% year-over-year growth with their OnCall powered telehealth programs

How leading behavioral healthcare organizations built successful digital programs

From 2016 to 2019, the use of telehealth doubled. Now, it’s estimated that 60-90% of providers offer some kind of online service, with that number set to increase even more. Take Pyramid Healthcare Inc. for example.

Pyramid Healthcare leveraged OnCall’s end-to-end telehealth platform to launch its branded virtual care program in just 30 days. This rapid response was needed to continue offering ongoing in-patient and out-patient care during the pandemic, and resulted in 900% quarterly growth in scheduled appointments in 2020. In fact, 95% of Pyramid patients agree that OnCall enabled them to access crucial healthcare during the pandemic. With features like Pyramid’s branded digital booking page, informed consent, and virtual care options like video conference, instant message, and phone, patients are able to receive care when it’s convenient for them.

Like Pyramid, the pandemic forced Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centers to rapidly launch a virtual care program to continue caring for patients. Although initially a ‘quick fix’, Trafalgar has experienced 300% year-over-year growth in their digital programs since launch. With OnCall, “Trafalgar went from having one group a week at each physical location, to actually offering three groups a day, five days a week, virtually.” They now offer customized virtual out-patient programs for a variety of patient types using OnCall’s content management feature. Trafalgar providers share personalized content, such as videos, forms and files, or other documents with patients so they can experience care on their own time, with an added weekly check-in with a provider through video or instant messaging. This gives patients the opportunity to receive care when it’s convenient for them. With personalized care, patients feel compelled to continue their healthcare journey with digital tools that make finding and receiving health care more convenient and accessible.

The future of mental healthcare is here

We’ve already seen first-hand how telehealth platforms can remove barriers and empower patients to take direct action while being fully supported by their mental health provider or counsellor.

Even as we move beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s clear that telehealth is here to stay, but they must be intelligently designed and comply with all necessary regulations. Telehealth solutions aren’t a one-size-fits-all, and as a leading-edge security provider, OnCall is ready to help you design and implement a bespoke telehealth solution to support your clients as they seek effective and timely support for their mental health and addictions treatment.

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