Why Psychologists Should Consider Telemedicine

Why Psychologists Should Consider Telemedicine

Recently, there has been drastic growth in the popularity of telemedicine among healthcare professionals thanks to its benefits for both patients and medical specialists. Video appointments are particularly suited to mental health care because they provide treatment through patient–provider interactions. With features like patient management, online bookings, and file sharing/security, telemedicine is the ultimate tool for your psychology practice that will continue to be instrumental even after the pandemic ends.

In this article, we explain why telemedicine software contributes to effective mental health care delivery and how it can transform your workflow.

Benefits of telemedicine software for psychologists

Since the beginning of the pandemic, numerous practitioners have acknowledged that the benefits of online psychology sessions outweigh the benefits of in-person visits. Going online is the new normal for psychologists all over the world. The online format offers many possibilities for providers, including streamlining business management, gaining new clients, increasing revenue, and improving work–life balance.

Some of the advantages you can experience by using telemedicine software for your private psychology practice include:

    • Increased client accessibility to mental health care. Telemedicine software removes many barriers. It allows for delivering services to patients living in rural areas, people with disabilities, and those who are hesitant about starting therapy. Thus, specialists increase their client base and future bookings.
    • Lower overheads. A private home office works perfectly for teletherapy because a specialist may deliver services from anywhere. An online psychologist doesn’t need to pay rent, buy extra equipment and stationery, pay staff, or bear travel expenses. Instead, they can invest in professional development.
    • Increased productivity. Telemedicine software simplifies and automates your workflow, meaning you can work more efficiently and devote more time to your patients.
    • Improved patient experience and satisfaction. For patients, telepsychology is an easy way to consistently treat specific mental health conditions. It's also convenient, flexible, and ideal for personalized real-time care.
  • Reduced stigma. Patients are likely to be more open and comfortable talking about their issues at home in a familiar setting than they will be in your office. Additionally, virtual care can serve as a stepping stone to beginning treatment for anxious and avoidant patients.

Telemedicine software features for psychologists

Let’s cover the basic features of telemedicine software for the mental health sector.

1. Patient management

The patient management feature lets you store extensive amounts of data about each patient, including demographic data such as name, email, clinical records, etc. This gives you a clear understanding of your patients and how you can serve their needs.

patient management

Another valuable addition to the patient management feature is patient notes. This functionality allows psychologists to record details of patients and their appointments, thus creating more personalized interactions. 

2. Video meetings

The core of telepsychology is communication with patients. Video meetings allow specialists to keep in contact with their patients wherever they are and provide quality service. Uninterrupted audio and video communication along with cloud video recording help specialists review meetings, evaluate their patients’ progress, and follow up on any gaps in information.

telemedicine video meetings

Pro tip: Sophisticated telemedicine software also includes a chat feature, file sharing, and screen sharing to eliminate the need for switching between apps or tabs. Everything is kept all in one place.

3. Privacy and security

Since healthcare involves sensitive patient data and one-on-one meetings, software providers ensure their products keep patients’ personal information safe. When choosing telemedicine software for your telepsychology sessions, make sure it complies with the strict data protection requirements in the jurisdictions where you operate. 

The main privacy requirements are stipulated by:

  • HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) in the US
  • GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in the EU
  • DPA (Data Protection Act) in the UK
  • PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act) in Canada
  • The Privacy Act 1988 in Australia

Pro tip: Ordinary video chat apps and messengers are not secure for communicating with your patients. Fortunately, ExpertBox offers HIPAA-compliant video sessions, and you don’t need to download any software.

4. Patient portal

A user-friendly patient account on your telemedicine platform will serve as a hub for securely communicating, scheduling sessions, managing payments, filling out forms, sending files, and viewing patients’ medical histories. Online visits become much easier when patients can meet their own needs.

If you decide to incorporate telemedicine into your practice, be sure you follow all applicable laws and regulations. Read these tips to avoid telemedicine legal issues.

5. Digital forms

Digital forms let mental healthcare providers collect all the information they need for effective practice, such as informed consent and legal documents, tests, questionnaires, and any additional custom forms.

digital forms

This feature frees a specialist from paperwork and keeps all vital documents in one place.

Summing up

Psychology is ahead of the curve in transitioning to online sessions when compared to other healthcare fields. In doing so, telepsychology has become accessible to anyone with a computer or mobile device and an internet connection. Telemedicine is a powerful tool for psychologists thanks to its wide range of features, flexibility, and effectiveness in treating mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. Finally, telemedicine software makes a psychology practice more sustainable. 

For more insights on telepsychology and how it can improve your private psychology practice, subscribe to our newsletter below.

FAQ
  • Some of the benefits of using telemedicine software for your private psychology practice include:

    • Increased accessibility to mental health care. Telemedicine software removes geographical barriers and allows for delivering services to patients in rural areas, people with disabilities, and those who are hesitant about starting therapy.
    • Lower overheads. A private home office is perfect for teletherapy because you don’t need to pay rent, buy extra equipment and stationery, pay staff, or bear travel expenses.
    • Increased productivity. Since telemedicine software simplifies and automates your workflow, you can perform work more efficiently and devote more time to your patients.
    • Improved patient experience and satisfaction. Telepsychology is an easy way to consistently provide the required care for specific mental health conditions. 
    • Reduced stigma. Patients are more likely to be more open and comfortable talking about their issues from the familiarity of their home than in your office. For anxious and avoidant patients, telehealth can also serve as a stepping stone for beginning therapy.
  • The most important features of telemedicine that optimize the psychologist’s workflow include:

    • Patient management
    • Video meetings
    • Privacy and security
    • Patient portal
    • Digital forms
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