How to Provide Teletherapy

How to Provide Teletherapy

Providing Effective Teletherapy to Patients 

In the past three years, telehealth has revolutionized medicine. By adapting to a remote environment, clinics learned to help patients at any distance. For the first time, incredible healthcare is only a few clicks away. So, with the telehealth market growing, new healthcare workers are learning how to provide teletherapy. 

A healthy lifestyle requires more than your annual physical. A patient’s mental wellbeing affects all aspects of their life, including physical health [1]. More than ever before, healthcare workers and their clients see the value in counseling. And as a result, the demand for teletherapy has skyrocketed. 

There’s no single tried and true path on how to provide teletherapy. But by assessing your strengths and goals as a provider, you can set yourself up for success. That’s why Beam is here to give a top-to-bottom perspective on offering the best teletherapy services. By keeping these basics in mind, you can make the most of remote care.

Consider Your Business Model

Generally speaking, telehealth counselors fall within two business models. On one hand, many therapists choose to become their own boss and run a private practice. The rest find positions at hospitals, clinics, and other medical centers. Each path has its merits, but one route may suit you more than the other.  

Starting a private practice gives you total autonomy [2]. Therapists can choose their hours, decide which services to provide, and set their prices for treatment. On top of that, remote therapy gives providers even more freedom. Private practices can now decide how to provide teletherapy on their platform of choice. 

Working for a clinic exchanges this freedom for fewer managerial responsibilities. Working for another practice gives you access to training and coworkers you can rely on. Established practices also offer their employees insurance, shared risk management, billing support, and IT assistance. On top of that, your bosses foot the bill for telehealth software. 

Whether you work for a clinic or start your practice, anyone can learn how to provide teletherapy. Virtual care’s greatest strength is in its flexibility. Regardless of your preference, infrastructure exists that will bring you to patients. In the end, this access to care benefits clients and practices. 

Make the Most of Your Platform

Plenty of therapists use telehealth platforms like a chat room. Even though video conferencing is one of remote care’s best features, it isn’t where virtual treatment ends. Telehealth services offer a range of tools that help patients and their counselors. Learning how to provide teletherapy involves mastering these tools. 

Many platforms feature an integrated notepad for counselors. This allows you to pen client information and easily share certain details by copying your notes. For psychiatrists, prescription management tools also come packaged with your service. If that wasn’t good enough, patient registration is streamlined with easy-to-use interfaces. 

On some platforms, the benefits extend outside day-to-day procedures. Certain telehealth services assist with patient outreach and marketing. Others provide consultations that keep costs low and make administration simple. Beam’s all-in-one platform offers services like these to clients.

Adapt to Virtual Treatment

Most teletherapy guides end at finding the ideal telehealth platform. While reliable video conferencing and EHR integration are important, you can’t forget the human element. Therapists use virtual care platforms for more than their technical advantages. Counselors use them to better connect with patients. 

The best counselors learn how to provide teletherapy the same way they would conduct an in-person session. They stay aware of their body language, keeping an open presence that invites dialogue. Therapists also adjust their webcams to appear at eye level with the patient. And as always, active listening is important over a video chat because it’s easier to misread a client’s tone [3]. 

More often than not, teletherapy is similar to walk-in care. And you can chalk this up to the fact that good counselors have natural discussions with their clients. Adjusting to a video chat may take extra work for some healthcare workers. But in the end, therapists who adapt their skills to a video conference will find the most success.

Account for Every Risk

In a lot of respects, teletherapy is an upgrade over in-person care. Thanks to its accessibility, patient retention, and flexibility, treatment has never been this easy to find. But as the field expands, telehealth has come to face new challenges. Because of this, you can’t provide teletherapy without taking certain risks into account. 

First, telehealth stresses the importance of privacy. Use your platform’s security features to authorize the client as an authorized user. Next, ensure that sensitive information is only sent to them through secure channels. Avoiding a HIPAA violation isn’t difficult so long as you avoid all possible security breaches. 

Additionally, video conferencing technology is a double-edged sword. While the chance to speak with a counselor can be lifesaving, a dropped connection may push patients away. Your client needs reliable care that won’t drop off. As such, make sure your hardware and software are up to the task before speaking with a client. 

Learning how to provide teletherapy is a valuable use of any counselor’s time. And to make running your practice simple, Beam is here to do its part. We offer a free year of telehealth service to all qualifying clinics. Click here to learn more about our commitment to mental healthcare. 

Sources:

[1] https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/how-does-mental-health-affect-physical-health

[2]https://www.nepsy.com/articles/columnists/the-dilemma-to-join-a-group-practice-or-go-solo/

[3]https://ct.counseling.org/2020/09/making-the-new-normal-five-tips-for-providing-teletherapy/

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