Telehealth Benefits and Challenges for Behavioral Health Treatment

The need for behavioral health treatment is on the rise. To keep up, many organizations are turning to technology.

It has become an increasingly common method, if not preferred, for seeking behavioral health treatment.

This allows organizations to treat more people in less time, from anywhere. But, with any major organizational change, there come challenges.

In this article, we will discuss the telehealth benefits and challenges for behavioral health treatment. Let’s dive in!

What is Telehealth?

Telehealth is the use of technology to provide healthcare services such as video conferencing, online consultations, and any other wireless communication.

The growth of telehealth was accelerated after COVID-19, and government agencies began encouraging its use.

telehealth

What are the Benefits of Telehealth?

Telehealth can help behavioral health providers and organizations overcome industry barriers and improve their quality of treatment. Here are 8 key benefits of telehealth.

1. Enhance Convenience

Telehealth helps the people you serve seamlessly schedule their appointments, receive prescriptions, and complete billing.

Having everything in one place also allows your team to conveniently access the data of the people you serve.

2. Reduce Delays

With fewer people needing to visit healthcare professionals in person, wait times will be reduced and providers can provide more efficient care. This opens up resources and staff for serious behavioral health concerns that need to be addressed in person.
For example, telehealth can help you set up a successful outpatient program so that your treatment center has more space for people who need inpatient treatment.

3. Improve Follow-Ups

As any healthcare professional knows, follow-ups can be tricky. The people you serve do not always have the time to come back into the office to discuss how they are doing post-care.

With telehealth you can connect with the people you serve from anywhere or even send digital forms. You can also provide reminders and resources, such as coping mechanisms and mental health education.

4. Reduce Stigma Surrounding Treatment

Despite the number of people who experience some sort of mental health concern, there is still a lot of stigma surrounding mental health and addiction. Video conferences can increase the chances of more people seeking treatment.

Some people may feel more comfortable talking about their condition in the privacy of their homes. Additionally, they do not have to be afraid of being recognized at appointments.

telemedicine benefits

5. Lower Costs

Telehealth can help lower your costs to provide care which reflects on the price the people you serve have to pay. By implementing technology, you can reduce expenses such as rent on office space and additional staff.

Many organizations have been able to downgrade office space with more team members working remotely.

6. Reduce Financial Barriers

There are many barriers to mental health like stigma as we mentioned previously. Another one that greatly affects those in need of treatment is money.

Not everyone you serve has the ability to take off from work to drive to appointments or has a reliable form of transportation. Meanwhile, 85.5% of U.S. households in 2020 had access to the internet, and the number has only increased.

With reduced barriers comes increased access.

telehealth for kids

7. Increase Access to Treatment

Telehealth increases access to care by allowing you to provide treatment online. This makes it easier for those who previously may not have been able to due to lack of transportation, child care, or finances.

Additionally, with telehealth, people living in rural or remote areas are not limited to providers in their area and are able to connect with specialists.

8. Improve Experience For The People You Serve

As anyone who has ever gone to see a healthcare professional knows, one of the worst parts of the experience is waiting in the waiting room.

When you offer video appointments, the people you serve do not have to waste time in waiting rooms or worry about getting to the office. This creates an overall better experience for them as well as improves their outcomes.

Challenges to The Implementation of Telehealth in Behavioral Health

Change can be hard, especially for senior-level management who find comfort in the processes that are currently in place. “Change management” is crucial to making a seamless transition.

One key aspect of change management is training your staff. Not only will they have to learn how to use the software, but they will also need to learn new processes.

Another challenge that hinders the success of telehealth implementation is the low integration of electronic and manual records. Technology won’t do much for you if you do not have access to all of the critical information.

Finally, one of the largest challenges to implementing telehealth is the cost. Not only do you have to find room in your budget, but you also need to convince your stakeholders that the expense is justified.

Future Considerations

  • Find the Perfect Software Partner – Select a software solution that has all the features you need.
  • Ensure HIPAA Compliance – As you implement more technology, you need to ensure you are protecting the data of the people you serve.
  • Discuss All Treatment Options – When onboarding a new person you will be serving, go over all treatment options, including telehealth, so they can choose what they are most comfortable with.
  • Train Your Team – When you begin implementing new technology, not only do you need to teach your team how to use it best, but they may also need to learn new techniques to best treat someone virtually.
telemedicine challenges

Overcome Telehealth Challenges with C4 Consulting

Need help navigating the implementation and usage of telehealth? Our team of expert consultants can help you form successful telehealth programs.

From training staff on software solutions to helping to integrate records and data, we can guide you through any challenge. With decades of hands-on experience in the industry, C4 Consulting has the knowledge and expertise you need to ensure that your business gets the most out of the implementation of telehealth, as well as avoid common mistakes other organizations make.

Fill out our form or call 866.329.7170 to schedule a FREE consultation, and learn more about how we can help create sustainable success for your organization.

Contact us to schedule a consultation today.