Top 10 Telehealth Challenges and How to Overcome Them
The unprecedented changes to the world have challenged the addiction, substance use disorder (SUD) and mental health (MH) treatment centers to rapidly evolve to telehealth services - the method for delivering client services virtually.
Today's environment has completely transitioned from a familiar face-to-face to an unfamiliar screen-to-screen experience. While the telehealth boom has the majority share of the market today, the demand for remote services is here to stay. With the increased demand for telehealth, there are new growing pains for programs, at every level of care to consider. We’ve taken the liberty of aiding some of the most common aches when starting a telehealth program.
Top 10 Telehealth Challenges & How to Overcome Them
- Completion of client intake documents have traditionally been completed in person, our “Forms” feature, digitizes all your custom documentation. Your clients can sign the forms remotely, on a phone or computer. They are returned and stored in your client’s EHR.
- While HIPAA guidelines have been loosened to meet the recent uptick in demand for telehealth services, not every platform will continue to meet the criteria for HIPAA. With OPUS, there’s no need to worry about compliance, we meet have created a secure platform to conduct your sessions, within our software
- Previously, one of the largest barriers to telehealth care was that it required a computer, and many clients, and staff members working remotely may not have access to a computer. Our telehealth platform can be run, and accessed via mobile devices.
- Many of us are less than gifted when it comes to using new forms of technology. Thankfully, OPUS offers simple features, with support staff through chat, and helpful videos. Ease of use for all participants and staff with how to videos, 24/7 support staff and email updates on our newest features.
- Clinicians tend to shy away from telehealth, especially for high risk clients that you might find in a substance use setting. It can be nearly impossible to truly monitor a client’s mood, well-being and potential for crisis. With Opus Patient Engagement remote measures, the clinician is easily able to regularly monitor the risk factors and intervene in the case of a potential crisis, from afar.
- Before Covid-19, there were only 29 states providing compensation for telehealth services. Now, nearly every private payer insurance company and Medicaid are reimbursing facilities and clinicians for distance telehealth.
- Telehealth, while providing ease of access for clients, can create a barrier of communication between the psychiatrists, mental health providers, and case managers. By creating an integrated system, our telehealth platform allows the medical team to utilize E-prescribing features, easily allowing a program to build out an MAT program, or update clients’ with psychotropic prescriptions based on the mental health recommendations in the shared EHR.
- Outpatient care is historically the primary role of telehealth. Expansion of services to different levels of care from PHP, all the way to OP, provide improved treatment outcomes for the clients. The longer the client can stay with the same care team, the better desired outcome of care.
- A strong aftercare and discharge plan can determine the success of a client. Geographical limitations have previously precluded providing services to rural areas, in which clients may be returning to. By expanding your telehealth services, your company is able to provide levels of care to previously inaccessible clients. “Telehealth is opening up doors for clients that we weren’t able to extend help to before," said Andrea Baskin, Clinical Director at Safe Landing Recovery. "Now that services aren’t restricted to a physical location, we are able to continue our therapeutic and psychiatric services from the first day of residential treatment, to the last day of outpatient treatment. The ability to run groups online has enabled us to create a digital IOP program, with flexible after school hours for our clients. We don’t have to worry about transportation logistics, office hours, or staff availability. It’s changing the way we do business.”
- Managing scheduling for telehealth clients requires so many forms of communication! Gmail, acuity, phone calls and text message reminders - an integrated platform like Opus takes care of scheduling, reminders for clients and clinicians, and a communication platform for client’s to send messages directly to their clinicians about missed appointments or rescheduling.
Telehealth Service Expansion
With telehealth here to stay, what does your expansion into telehealth services look like? Our team is here to support you on your virtual journey with our integrated, easy-to-use, secured platform. Schedule an appointment to get acclimated with this transition and see a demo in action. Our team is here to help you help others.
If you have questions or want to learn more, contact us today.