Telehealth Strengths: Transparency, Privacy & Access

Lindsay Demboski, Senior Vice President, Integrated Psychiatric Consultants

Over my seven years in healthcare sales and operations, I have often heard clients say, “Telehealth will not work for us, because our patients will not like it.”

While this may be true for some organizations, my experience and our statistics tell a different story. Post-pandemic research suggests that, for a majority of mental health concerns, patients report satisfaction with telehealth care. Here are what I find to be the top reasons offering telehealth services can be beneficial for behavioral health programs to serve their patients’ needs:

  1. Transparency: Since providers are not always located in the same regional area, patients may feel more comfortable opening up without fear of running into the provider or meeting them in the reception area of a clinical setting. This is especially important in rural areas, where stigma can make it difficult for patients to be completely transparent with providers. With telehealth, patients are able to be honest with their provider about issues, feelings, medications, and incidences – resulting in a more accurate consultation and treatment.
  2. Privacy: Patients often like the privacy of being able to speak with a provider from the comfort of their home. Many organizations offer telehealth services where the provider is also at home or in a familiar, home-like environment. Telehealth is also ideal for patients with disabilities for whom commuting to a clinical setting and/or finding an available caregiver is more difficult.
  3. Access: Some types of providers can be licensed in multiple states and see patients in other locations than their own. Telehealth allows providers to increase accessibility to their services without restricting themselves to one state or regional area. Many states only require providers to be licensed in their home state and the state where the patient resides in, and if prescribing, hold a federal and state-controlled substances license. With the national shortage of behavioral health providers and the rise of patients needing compassionate care, telehealth offers organizations a chance to make more providers available to patients who may otherwise go without or delay care.

There is, on average, a 48-day waiting period to see a provider for a behavioral health need in the United States. Telehealth can shorten this wait time. It is crucial for ensuring patients are not only getting access to behavioral health services, but also good quality consultations.

For more information on how Integrated Psychiatric Consultants (IPC) can help your program in implementing telehealth behavioral health services, please reach out to me:

Lindsay Demboski, Senior Vice President, ldemboski@integrated-pc.com, (404) 427-9694