Mental health has never been as crucial as it is today. Mental health applications come in varied forms, and telehealth for psychiatry is one such branch. The rise of mHealth solutions has created significant potential toward addressing mental health. As behavioral support apps grow in popularity, psychiatry telehealth services are consequently on the rise.
Online telehealth psychiatry is loaded with advantages for healthcare providers and patients alike. Within this domain, custom healthcare solutions can address the specific requirements of providers toward psychiatry in telehealth. With unique offerings in telepsychiatry apps for patients and behavioural healthcare provider solutions, telehealth solutions are specifically geared to bridge the gap. Telemedicine software companies are continually innovating toward higher efficiency to match the increasing demand for these solutions.
Inherent Problems Associated with Treating Mental Health Problems
Unlike physical injuries or illnesses, mental health problems are not immediately noticeable. Most people suffering from it rarely realize that they need help. They lead their lives as best as possible and cope however they see fit. It is only when things worsen, and they find it difficult to do even the most basic things that they realize something is wrong. Most often, it is the people around the ones suffering from mental illness that witness the slow descent.
A lack of awareness coupled with societal norms and social stigma has prevented the topic of mental illness from being discussed. There has been a taboo against discussing it and even seeking help. Many people fall into substance abuse and worse to cope with their struggles. However, things have changed dramatically in recent years as many famous people have opened up about their struggles with mental health and encouraged others to do so.
Research estimates that approximately 50 million adults in the United States have a mental illness. Some of them even suffer from more than one. The economic hardships brought about by the covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic recession have made things worse for many Americans. Additionally, it is estimated that nearly a third of all people in America live in locations without a single therapist. They would have no alternative but to travel long distances for therapy.
To sum it up, there are multiple problems associated with mental healthcare in the USA. They include a mix of social, logistical, and economic factors. But telehealth psychiatry is a promising solution to the problem of this public health crisis in the country.
The Role of Telemedicine Software in Psychiatry
Telemedicine enables providers to offer care services remotely using telecommunication and digital technologies. It means that people with a phone or a computer and an internet connection can connect with a provider remotely for a virtual consultation. The idea of telehealth systems was a novelty and was nothing more than a topic of discussion among doctors and technologists. But the Covid-19 pandemic took it from being an idea to becoming a part of the healthcare industry in months.
The idea of doctors being able to offer consultations remotely was well received, and it didn’t take long for it to seep into mental healthcare. Telehealth psychiatry took off quickly, and its impact on access to mental care was soon felt all across the medical community. At a time when people were losing their jobs and were forced to stay at home due to the curfews imposed, many found it difficult to cope with their struggles.
Telehealth psychiatry solutions enable people to book online appointments and have therapy consultations virtually. They can do this without having to leave their homes. This privacy offers comfort and encourages more people to share their struggles. The best part about telepsychiatry is its outreach. As mentioned earlier, many Americans live in places without a single mental health expert. So, more and more providers have begun using telehealth solutions to serve their patients better.
Telehealth psychiatry is a boon for people lacking access as they would no longer have to travel far to seek help. That is why telehealth for psychiatry has become a major buzzword in the medical community. It can extend access to care for people living in distant underserved locations. Telepsychiatry is a promising solution to the challenge of access to care.
OSP’s Telepsychiatry Software Solution
At OSP, we were recently faced with a Texas-based mental health center that wanted to automate its psychiatry services holistically. The answer was clear – a digital health based powered psychiatry telemedicine software solution. Our specialized team deployed customized integrated healthcare systems to offer a mental health management system with the following features:
- Digital Transformation
- Automated Claim Generation
- Automated Payment
- In-built EMR/ EHR Systems
- Patient Document Management
- Patient Insurance Verification
- Patient Treatment Plan
- Wiley Notes
- Automate PHQ-9 Assessment
- Predefined CPT Codes
- Automated & Accurate Coding
- Integrated Clearing House
If you’re looking to maximize gains through a telemedicine psychiatry solution, here are ten critical steps to success.
Best Development Practices in Telehealth Psychiatry
1. EHR Systems
An electronic health records system or healthcare EMR systems are digital versions of managing patient records. Psychiatry services must adopt deep integration with medical EMR systems for a superior telepsychiatry app. Swift access to electronic medical records systems promotes medical records management and better continuity of care, thus improving patient outcomes. Moreover, electronic medical records consulting works as a critical tool for collaborative care and effective treatment.
2. Documentation Management
Telemedicine psychiatry management systems require seamless documentation procedures through open-source electronic medical record solutions. EMR- electronic medical records need agile document management solutions that offer electronic data exchange. Telepsychiatry solutions use automated document management techniques to digitize administrative tasks in conjunction with practice management solutions. Be rest assured that telepsychiatry solutions with agile documentation management features can go a long way in improving the overall caregiving process.
3. Appointment Scheduling
Another critical feature in psychiatry telemedicine is automated appointment scheduling through cloud computing in healthcare. An online telepsychiatry software uses cloud-based EHR to offer appointment scheduling. In behavioral health apps for patients, this is a must-have feature. Cloud-based online telepsychiatry can offer patient engagement solutions toward convenience. Patient scheduling is simplified by seamlessly integrating EHR and practice management software. Healthcare interoperability solutions make it easier for patients to schedule appointments by easing the appointment scheduling hassle through integrated care management for automated calls, reduced no-shows, and easy follow-ups.
4. Patient Record Accessibility
A critical component of telepsychiatry software is to provide easy access to patient records to mental health professionals. EHR technology platforms should be accessible across multiple locations and devices for holistic caregiving. Healthcare automation can access cloud-based electronic medical records through integrated telehealth solutions. EHR systems can be standardized on a common browser for telehealth psychiatry software solutions to improve practice workflows. Finally, secure access to patient records can be applied toward intelligent population health management.
5. ICD-10 Support
Telepsychiatry providers’ perspectives should serve as the developmental basis of telepsychiatry services. Telemedicine software companies must factor in the financial aspects of the organization. Telehealth software should be designed to make the medical billing process easier and prompt by mapping ICD-10 codes. Automating the mapping of mental health CPT codes is imperative for telemedicine solutions in decreasing repetitive administrative, financial tasks. It will further support time management and patient health through the automation of medical records.
6. Customizable Reports
Generating reports of digital health medical records offers quick and easy access to information through clinical data analysis. Customized reports are created by mining data from EMR systems in healthcare that multiple healthcare providers and administrative staff have entered. The telehealth solution then uses this information to provide a better outcome for patients. Electronic records of patients in telehealth systems are vital for creating these customized reports. Telepsychiatry providers can benefit greatly from these reports towards quality caregiving and clinical informatics.
Telehealth software companies can apply healthcare analytics solutions toward improving clinical practice workflows. Regardless of the branch of healthcare, powerful analytics tools bring in a highly competitive advantage for any healthcare organization. Telemedicine software platforms must have robust analytics tools for overall strength. Additionally, prescription analysis can be merged with e-psychiatry telemedicine for an added advantage.
All forms of app development in healthcare, including advanced telemedicine in mental health, must adhere to strict HIPAA compliance. Telehealth software systems in psychiatry rely on information exchange with multiple entities. Thus, telemedicine software for providers and patients in mental health must conform with HL7 compliance. Advanced telehealth solutions now come with compliance features that promote mental health insurance safety.
9. Advanced Security
Telehealth psychiatry software development must be deployed while mindful of relevant security protocols. Telehealth psychiatry solutions should be deployed with advanced security features for complete patient health data security. Telepsychiatry companies can include multiple access layers, depending on the specific organization, and this controls data breaches and authorized control within mental health applications for doctors.
Telemental health care can rely on electronic patient record systems to track prescriptions for patients from medical providers. Telehealth psychiatry software solutions should be empowered with this feature to ensure that patients are kept safe from access to multiple dosages and medication overdose. E-prescribing can also help psychiatry doctors track the medication regularity of patients. E-prescribing features in mental healthcare reduced manual work and tracking. Mental health applications can use EPCS to automate the entire prescription process.
Will Telehealth In Psychiatry Enable Patient Engagement?
Patient engagement involves all the steps to instill positive behavior among patients and empower them to manage their health better. Medical researchers and doctors agree that patient engagement has proven results in the course of treatments. It enables patients to keep in touch with their doctors and receive advice on leading healthier lives. This is also applicable to therapy and mental healthcare.
Solutions for telehealth psychiatry with patient engagement systems can go a long way in helping with mental illness and behavioral health problems. Telehealth solutions enable patients to connect with their therapists from the comfort and privacy of their homes. People dealing with substance abuse and other behavioral health problems can easily overcome their habits with moral support being one call away.
Custom healthcare software solutions with features for doctor-patient engagement help improve clinical outcomes. Moreover, they are also known to maximize the impact of any telemedicine app or remote health monitoring system. When patients can reach doctors without going to a clinic, they can build a lasting rapport with their physicians. With seamless doctor-patient engagement, patients can find the motivation to make healthier choices and abstain from harmful practices.
The actual care process begins after a patient has seen their doctor. In the case of telehealth psychiatry, it begins during a virtual therapy session and continues later. After patients log off their telehealth solutions, they take their medications and follow their therapists’ instructions. If in doubt, they will be able to reach out to their shrinks for advice or clarifications regarding dos and don’ts during their treatments. This can include avoiding or engaging in certain activities, abstaining from alcohol, avoiding stressful situations, etc.
It is natural for a patient with a mental illness to have doubts or need clarification. Telemedicine software with patient engagement features helps to resolve these problems and allows the treatments to take full effect. Whether battling addictions, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), drug abuse, or depression, patient engagement goes a long way in boosting the impact of telehealth psychiatry.
The list above is a sure-shot way of ensuring that telepsychiatry services are power-packed to sail through the mental health space. Telepsychiatry companies offer a wide variety of solutions that can make paper-based systems a thing of the past. Mental health professionals can rely on new-age apps to help with mental health and behavioral health solutions for higher patient engagement and a better bottom line. Mental health software solutions may not be as mainstream as primary care apps, but their undeniable advantages. Mental health professionals should utilize these software solutions to streamline their operations and maximize profits.
To sum it up, telepsychiatry solutions not only improve the access to therapy for people, but also maximize the impact of the therapy. It is a win-win for public health experts looking for solutions to combat the growing epidemic of mental health problems in the country.
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Written by Riken Shah linkedin
Riken's work motto is to help healthcare providers use technological advancements to make healthcare easily accessible to all stakeholders, from providers to patients. Under his leadership and guidance, OSP Labs has successfully developed over 600 customized software solutions for 200+ healthcare clients across continents.