When we look back over the past two years, there’s no doubt that the emergence of telehealth was a helpful development. Not receiving medical care from healthcare providers during the pandemic would have added even greater difficulty to an already dire situation.
Now that we are much more familiar with the idea of communicating with our doctors and mental health providers via digital platforms, it’s clear that telehealth services are here to stay. Continue reading to learn all about telehealth and its many benefits.
How does telehealth work?
It is impossible to imagine how much worse off the world would have been during the COVID-19 pandemic if we hadn’t had a safe and secure way of speaking to our medical and mental health care providers. Fortunately, the timing was perfect, as telehealth technology had evolved significantly and was already being regularly utilized by healthcare professionals.
Telehealth works much like any other video calling software, such as Zoom or FaceTime. During a telehealth session, the patient is connected to their health provider via a software app to discuss symptoms with their doctor and get treatment. While in-person meetings with a practitioner is still the preferred method of receiving medical care, telehealth provides another option to receive care.
Benefits of telehealth
Telehealth services offer many benefits, for both patients and healthcare providers.
Consider the following:
- Convenience: Without a doubt, telehealth services are convenient. You’re able to receive medical care from the comfort of home. There’s no commute involved, no need to find childcare or to pay for parking. Telehealth offers accessibility for individuals living in remote and rural locations who might find it difficult to receive medical
- Removes barriers to care: Some individuals experience anxiety related to going to the doctor’s, and may not seek out medical help when they need it. Telehealth offers them confidential healthcare services from the privacy of their home. This is especially beneficial regarding psychiatric services, as some individuals worry about the stigma associated with mental health care needs.
- Safety: During the pandemic, these virtual sessions provided people with safe access to medical care without the worry of encountering or transmitting the COVID-19 virus. The same safety aspect pertains to any other communicable virus or bacteria, such as the flu or the common cold.
- After-hours care: Many healthcare systems offer after-hours virtual medical support. This can be especially helpful for pediatric services, such as when a child spikes a fever during the night. Instead of taking a child to the emergency room late at night, a telehealth session at home can provide the necessary medical care.
- It’s covered by insurance: Remote healthcare visits are covered by insurance in most cases. The provider simply submits the claim in the same way they would if the patient visited the healthcare facility. Providers will also benefit from a reduced impact on their physical office space and related expenses. Telehealth is a win-win for both provider and patient.
Telehealth services are definitely here to stay. If anything, these virtual sessions are likely to continue expanding. With or without a pandemic, telehealth has shown itself to be a vital aspect of providing medical care going forward.
Ashley Addiction Treatment, formerly Father Martin’s Ashley, is a nationally recognized nonprofit leader in integrated, evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders. Our programs are accredited by The Joint Commission, and result in frequent publications of ongoing research into effective treatment methodologies. We offer holistic care that encompasses the mind, body and spirit through inpatient and outpatient treatment, provide drug detox, relapse prevention plans, family wellness programs and a variety of other services tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Our driving principle — “everything for recovery” — reinforces our mission to transform and save lives through the science of medicine, the art of therapy and the compassion of spirituality, and is complemented by our philosophy of healing with respect and dignity. For information about our comprehensive programs, please call (866) 313-6307.