What is Telehealth?
Written by Kendra Carbone, LAC
Our world has experienced a multitude of changes over the past year and a half. We have changed how we socialize, how we shop, how we work, and how we receive health care. With all these changes, Telehealth has become a prominent way to provide and receive therapeutic services. Telehealth is defined as a new form of delivering healthcare services through digital channels to support long-distance clinical health care. Telehealth allows clients of distance and since the covid-19 pandemic, clients at risk of illnesses, to receive services in the comfort of their own home. Instead of going to an office, clients can now receive healthcare from their provider, like a doctor or psychiatrist, through platforms like video chats and phone calls. Individual therapy sessions, family therapy sessions, couples counseling, and group therapy have all been able to be completed through telehealth since the pandemic began. Telehealth can be performed on a number of HIPAA compliant telehealth platforms such as: Google Meet, Doxyme, or Zoom to name a few.
What to Expect When Using Telehealth
When participating in a telehealth session, be prepared to expect some differences compared to the typical in-person visit. Once a client has scheduled a telehealth appointment with their provider, they will receive an email from the office with instructions for accessing their telehealth appointment. It would be important for a client to make sure they are connected to a secure Wi-Fi connection in a quiet, private area. Technical difficulties have the potential to occur due to technology having a mind of its own! If there is any problem with your audio or video, please let your provider know. Once the video session is up and running the appointment will run almost identical to how it would in the office.
Benefits and Things to Consider
There are many benefits to using telehealth as a way to receive healthcare services. To list them, telehealth can help clients in rural areas avoid hours of travel, reduce the spread of illnesses, make for an easy follow-up appointment, save time, increase convenience, and reach more patients throughout the state. Some potential barriers to using telehealth are that it requires the internet, those engaging in telehealth need to have access to a computer, ipad, or smart phone, and extra layers of security are needed to ensure the protection of private information. It is also important to verify your insurance covers as the rules over coverage of Telehealth services may continue to change over time. Telehealth services are actively expanding due to the benefits it has had on clients and healthcare providers. It is important to review the benefits and potential risks prior to choosing whether an in-person session or a telehealth session would be best for you and your care. Inner Clarity Counseling is currently offering both of these treatment options hoping to provide each client with the flexible care that best fits your life!