Medicine is a rapidly changing community, but some aspects are resistant to change. When social distancing first began in 2020, expectations and standards of medicine were shattered. How would those seeking help attend their appointments?
This was a huge risk to those that rely on continuous care to manage mental health care. As a result, tele-health turned from an oddity to a part of everyday life. Particularly for Veterans and First Responders.
As many can recall, the height of the pandemic was an excruciating reality check. Your mental health may have been clinging to the normalcy of routine and being alone with your thoughts was far harder than ever expected.
For others, therapy may have already been a facet of your day-to-day life and considered a priority. Online services such as BetterHelp, TalkSpace, Telemynd, possibly even your own therapist were being presented as a solution to facilitate continuation of care.
With the online services, patients were able to find a therapist that best serves them. When they are unable to make it to an in-person appointment even now, these services are available for text, call, video chat and others. Other aspects such as organized space for journaling and remarking on sessions and what works best for the client are offered through their patient portals of such services.
Tele-health has also made its way into internal and family medicine. Quick screenings for consultations that allow patients and doctors more time to themselves through a quick video chat. This helps move the care plan forward, whereas going into the office can be difficult, especially in more rural communities. Patient portals in a lot of adjusting hospital systems allow for a patient to talk to a doctor more by video chat much quicker than waiting for an appointment in person. For quick concerns remedied or ensuring you're staying on track with your personal care plan, this can work for many.
Human interaction is vital for the wellbeing of individuals, which is why it is understandable that many oppose tele-health as an option for their care. Being able to interact face to face is a genuine experience that is far too difficult and precious to ever fully replace or replicate with technology.
However, there is a great amount of evidence that proves that tele-health can still serve a great community, for those who cannot make it in office due to location, busy scheduling, or by even being ill, telehealth allows those who wouldn’t regularly be able to, get the health care they deserve.