Telehealth has the potential to transform any counseling practice while improving the client's therapy journey. Learn more about the very best tools and resources available to telehealth counselors.
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Telehealth is one of the greatest assets that you could consider implementing within your counseling practice. Used by thousands of clinics across the globe, telehealth allows healthcare services to be delivered from the comfort of your own home through video conferencing, messaging, and other wireless communication features. It’s a remote way of delivering therapy that prioritizes convenience and privacy, whilst increasing therapeutic outcomes within your business. Incorporating telehealth in your counseling practice can significantly elevate the quality of your services, and allow you to see and treat clients from any time and place; so with this guide, we hope to educate you on its benefits and various uses. Ideally, with sufficient research and consideration, you can consider offering telehealth options for your clients and work to counsel in your own time. Not only is telehealth quickly becoming one of the most preferred options for therapy, but it is also highly cost-efficient, which makes it a great option for you to save time and money to add value elsewhere.
There are a multitude of benefits when it comes to implementing telehealth services within your mental health counseling practice, and as a result, we’ve compiled some of the top reasons for you to consider following through.
Using telehealth services means you can deliver sessions on your own time, and in a way that best suits your needs and resources. You can connect with clients from any time and place, and with the ability to schedule appointments outside of the typical 9-5, you have much greater flexibility!
No matter where you are in the world, you can schedule appointments and connect with your clients. Provided you have a strong internet connection, camera, and microphone, you’re able to meet with clients even while traveling.
With telehealth services, you’re able to reach a wider range of clients, including those who live rurally or in particularly isolated communities. Clients can seek help early, with telehealth providing a much more convenient option to help those who have limited mobility in some form.
Because appointments can be taken anywhere, you don’t need to fork out large costs for common overhead expenses. You can increase your hours if you require more income, and reduce transport costs with sessions able to be conducted from your own home. Clinician billing will never be easier!
Recent studies have shown that the quality of telehealth services is reasonably equal to traditional in-person services, meaning you won’t have to compromise on quality when it comes to your counseling sessions.
Sometimes it can help to frame perspectives in regard to the numbers, which show immense support for the growth of telehealth within counseling services. This counseling guide can help point you toward the obvious benefits and evidence for telehealthcare in practices.
Telehealth is especially significant when considering that over 56% of Americans who have mental health conditions do not receive sufficient treatment for their conditions, with every one in five adults being diagnosed with disorders every year. This is largely impacted by the fact that there is a prominent mental health shortage across the United States, in 5,042 areas, which leaves over 120 million people without access. Quite simply, it is becoming more and more difficult to receive counseling treatment, with many individuals unable to travel, schedule the time, or make priority waiting lists.
Telehealth is the perfect solution to mental health treatment shortages, as the remote aspects allow sessions to be scheduled at any time and from any place. Clients no longer have to join extensive waiting lists or commute to attend appointments, which only works to increase customer satisfaction. A recent study found that the effectiveness of the sessions themselves also has equal clinical importance with in-person appointments, with 96% of telepsychiatry patients happy with the level of care received.
When it comes to mental health, distressing issues or concerns must be treated as fast as possible to avoid escalation and potential hospitalization. With telehealth services, a John Hopkins study found a 26.6% decrease in the number of hospital admissions between 2006 and 2010, which highlights telehealth’s significant impact. Counseling treatment plans can work to include more patients, increasing the average income for counselors, which can be allocated to investing in more resources to treat clients.
When it comes to counseling and incorporating telehealth services, there are various guidelines that you should be aware of to avoid legal repercussions and ensure that you’re delivering the highest quality treatment to clients. Naturally, using telehealth means working with technology systems, and with that comes a whole lot of new risks and concerns to watch out for. Luckily, we’re here to help guide you through the essentials and outline all the important information that you need to be careful about. Created by the Joint Task Force for the Development of Telepsychology Guidelines for Psychologists, the following points are supported by The American Psychological Association (APA).
Firstly, it’s important that you only provide services within the scope of your knowledge, qualifications, and expertise. As a counselor, everything you say has an impact on clients, so you must be only using professional experience and education to provide assessment and guidance. Failing to do so could result in negative reviews from your counselling patients. You should also take extra care to ensure that you uphold ethical and professional standards of care throughout your telepsychology services to provide higher clinical outcomes that assess the information at hand. Additionally, you must also obtain informed consent from clients to ensure that not only do you fulfill legal obligations, but also represent the patient experience. All client data and details should be held confidential to maintain high standards of privacy, especially as it contains sensitive information. When data is transferred across organizations or healthcare practitioners, protection should be maintained so only authorized users have access. Implementing HIPAA-compliant procedures will set your business up well to prevent technology from malfunctioning, being hacked, as well as becoming outdated, which can all contribute to a weak security system. When data is disposed of, it should be conducted safely, and follow a standardized business process that ensures protected transmission.
Keeping in mind that telepsychology services are conducted via virtual means, it’s important to consider the consequences that may occur when adapting in-person instruments for online services. Your practice may need to test and assess various methods to find what is most effective for your business needs. You should also ensure that all proceedings and services comply with international and domestic laws and regulations, as failure to do so could lead to serious, costly consequences.
Telehealth is an excellent way to boost revenue within your healthcare practice, as it provides greater accessibility, convenience, as well as lower costs. It’s the practice management software you need and is revolutionizing the way healthcare systems are delivered, by providing counselors with the ability to schedule and connect with clients at any place and time. Implementing it within your workspace will allow you to grow your counseling practice, especially with social media, and promote higher customer satisfaction that your staff and clients will love.