Many patients that have relied on telemedicine have found that working with a physician virtually delivers the same care and compassion they would have with an in-person visit. For those struggling with mental health issues specifically, telepsychiatry provides more access to those who need treatment for anxiety, trauma, grief, depression, and more. Patients in rural areas appreciate not having to drive long distances to receive therapy, and those in emergency department settings value obtaining care faster. But there is a certain level of additional comfort that virtual physicians provide. Whether it is therapy in a safe location or reassurance of privacy, certain patients flock to telepsychiatry simply because it makes them more at ease.
Comfort of setting
Where a patient receives care can significantly determine the outcome of their treatment, and in order to receive the best therapy, the patient must be in a setting where they feel comfortable. Sometimes a person in need finds themselves in an emergency room setting; however, when a patient can choose to be treated at home, at a local clinic, or a place where they are familiar, it provides a sense of reassurance that they are in a safe space.
Comfortable settings go both ways, as effective telemedicine providers have backgrounds that deliver an extra dose of solace to the patient. Telepsychiatry clinicians can show that they take their consultations seriously when the surroundings are clutter-free, quiet, and well-lit. Patients who sense that these physicians are immersed in their needs, and not distracted by chaos and noise, will feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts and receive a more accurate diagnosis.
Comfort of privacy
Some recent findings indicate that patients also prefer telepsychiatry because they feel more open to sharing their feelings with someone on a screen than in person. 63 percent of respondents in a study conducted by CVS Health said there is more comfort today in using telehealth visits for therapy. Much of this comes down to trust and privacy.
For those in small communities, their local counselor might be their neighbor or shop at the same grocery store. And while physicians are under oath to protect patient privacy, it is easier for some to share their mental health struggles with someone somewhat geographically distant. Another example is on-site workplace therapy programs. While they are often created with the best intentions, some feel as though spilling their true feelings with someone hired by their company is risky and fear their struggles could be shared with company leadership. With a telepsychiatrist, there is a certain level of space given where patients can feel free enough to express themselves in a private and confidential capacity – and not worry about running into their therapist at their kid's little league game.
Comfort of quality
Many surveys indicate that patients believe the quality of care they receive through a virtual visit is just as good as an in-person visit with a provider. As more and more become comfortable with technology and virtual care, confidence rises in the level of quality that a telemedicine provider can deliver. For those with mental health concerns, there has been success story after success story of how telepsychiatry has made a massive difference in many lives.
This is especially true for those who have trouble accessing quality care in their hometown. As physician shortages throughout much of the country have left a gap in behavioral healthcare coverage, and 56 percent of counties in the United States are operating without an on-site local psychiatrist, telepsychiatry delivers convenient, readily accessible mental health services to patients no matter their location or transportation challenges.
Connecting patients to the best technology for the best outcomes
The more a patient feels comfortable, the better psychiatric care they can receive. To learn more about how a telepsychiatry program can elevate the comfort levels of your patients and deliver better outcomes, contact us.
If you'd like a custom telemedicine solution for your hospital, get started with a consultation today!