Telepsychiatry was intended to serve patients in remote areas but has evolved into a convenient and effective model for improving access to mental healthcare. Today, it is the preferred method to access care by younger generations, and quickly growing with baby boomers as they adapt to an increasingly digital landscape.
This shift in consumer behavior will have a dramatic impact on quality of care and outcomes. Here are 4 ways telepsychiatry is changing the mental healthcare landscape:.
1. The Ability to Diagnose and Treat Conditions Faster
Telepsychiatry provides immediate access to a mental health care professional. This will help diagnose the patient and get them on a treatment plan faster. It can also reduce the chances a manageable situation escalates into a more serious and traumatic event.
2. It Creates A More Convenient & Comfortable Patient Experience
Many patients find solace in the fact effective treatment and therapy can be accessed from the comfort of their own home. They don’t need to sit in traffic, a waiting room, or pay for parking. In addition, follow ups and treatment plans can be monitored more efficiently and conveniently through video conferencing.
3. It Provides Access to Underserved Populations
Telemedicine was imagined to deliver quality care to areas without a healthcare facility nearby. Now it serves an even greater purpose. It provides more comprehensive access not only to rural/remote areas, but to the elderly, physically handicapped, and financially burdened patients who may not have adequate transportation to a physical office.
4. Younger Generations Are More Likely to Use It
In a recent survey, 74% of Millennials said they would choose telemedicine over a traditional in-person appointment. This tech-savvy generation leads Generation Z into a world where access to mental health care is a click away. Both outnumber the baby boomers and are more open to talk about their issues. Telepsychiatry gives them a greater ability to talk about those issues in a format and delivery method they are comfortable with.