The number of American adults diagnosed with different mental health disorders is growing with time. Serious mental illness costs almost $193.2 billion in lost earning. Since many of these conditions remain undiagnosed, there is a high chance that patients fail to receive proper treatment.
Various reasons discourage people from looking for the right treatment for their mental condition. The statistics are alarming, for instance:
- More than 30 million adults self-report the requirement for treatment for illicit drug or alcohol use.
- There is a shortage of more than 4500 designated mental health treatment centers within the country. This leaves almost 100 million people without access to appropriate health services.
One thing needs to be clear – fixing healthcare isn’t easy. To address these crucial issues, it is essential to define primary health care and how people can access medical experts and healthcare facilities when they need them the most. Fortunately, technology is playing its role to improve access to appropriate and quality mental health care via telemedicine. Continue reading to find out more.
Introduction to Telemedicine
In the past few years, telemedicine has gained popularity for all the right reasons. It changed the way mental health services can be accessed. Patients are also becoming more comfortable with this method of obtaining health services because not only it allows them to receive quality medical attention but also saves them the time and effort to visit a neighborhood clinic or hospital.
Not only patients but even the healthcare organizations also accepted the concept with open arms. Telemedicine helps medical practices boost their psychiatric capacity and services and gives them an opportunity to generate steady income. But that’s not all. There are various other benefits of using telemedicine as a platform for providing mental health services to the patients.
Traveling can be quite stressful for patients suffering from mental health disorder. Telemedicine not only makes treatment more accessible but also more convenient. Travelling needs are reduced without compromising on the specialized services you can access.
This benefit is particularly useful for people living in rural areas, where traveling means long drives to visit a mental health specialist. Telemedicine ensures that patients get the treatment they require to lead a happier, healthier life without investing a lot of their time and money.
Accessibility is a great benefit especially for patients with mental disorders. Even patients are not aware when their condition would worsen and traveling to a specialist with worsening symptoms can be a risky deal. Improved access means the healthcare service is brought to the patient in distant locations.
While patients benefit by accessing the health services they need with telemedicine apps, even health facilities and physicians find it more useful to expand their reach beyond the walls of their hospitals and clinics. The concept of telemedicine has instantly improved its capacity to serve millions of patients without any boundaries.
One of the main reasons why many patients – including patients diagnosed with mental disorders – turn to telehealth technologies is because of its cost-effectiveness. In addition to increasing efficiency, telemedicine is a great way to cut cost without compromising the quality of treatment services.
Since telemedicine reduces the need for traveling to the healthcare center every now and then, it helps cut down the expenses.
Improved Service Quality
It can be particularly challenging to find quality medical care at a fraction of the money. With telemedicine, this problem has also been addressed.
Several studies confirm that the quality of healthcare services provided through telemedicine are as good as those that are given in one-on-one consultations. Even in specialties like ICU care and mental health, telemedicine has also proven to deliver excellent results and increase patient satisfaction.
Surprisingly telemedicine service is exactly what patients are looking for. Any solution that reduces both stress and travel time for the patient has a significant impact on the patient as well as their family.
Experiences have been documented to measure patient’s satisfaction and support for the healthcare services in telemedicine field. Such services are excellent for offering patients the access to providers that might not be available otherwise.
With so many benefits to list, it is also important to realize that telemedicine alone cannot fix all the medical challenges that are faced by patients diagnosed with mental health disorders. However, it is definitely a step closer that takes patients closer to their healthcare providers – removing barriers like transportation costs, traveling, location, etc.
The industry has been working on addressing any obstacles that exist so that patients who are already under a lot of stress due to a mental condition do not have to suffer more. Telemedicine has all it takes to offer quality treatment to patients seeking medical help without any hassle. The good news is that most mental health professionals are looking to start their own telemedicine practice for the improvement of patient satisfaction and convenience.