The current pandemic forced most organizations to rethink how they interact with the public. Beyond requiring masks and providing hand sanitizers, the impact of COVID-19 has necessitated some fundamental shifts that may very well continue post-pandemic. Businesses are not only rethinking their operations (e.g., adding delivery and curbside pick-up, embracing a remote workforce), individuals have also shifted their expectations. One of the more significant shifts has been in utilizing telehealth.
According to management consultancy, McKinsey & Company, only 11% of people in the US utilized telehealth in 2019. That number has risen to 46% who are now using telehealth to replace canceled healthcare visits. Certainly the main driver for this increase has been the pandemic, but as individuals become more comfortable utilizing telehealth, one can be fairly confident that its usage will remain much higher long after the world returns to its pre-pandemic state. No more time spent in waiting rooms or traveling to appointments and oftentimes having more immediate access to providers are all conveniences that people will have come to expect.
Telemental health, in particular, is an area that many individuals have embraced. PwC’s Health Research Institute (HRI) reports that “consumers with mental health conditions are twice as willing to use mental telehealth than all consumers (46% vs. 23%).” And provider executives have indicated that mental health is a top focus for their telehealth investments. While there are a myriad of considerations in implementing telemental health, treatment efficacy remains a key issue just as it is for in-person services. And as providers look to make telehealth a more permanent part of their practices, incorporating digital tools could play an essential role in making that shift.
Whether a practice is implementing telemental health or simply evaluating their in-person services, the measure of clinical effectiveness is important for both patient care and practice management. Digital tools such as the MHT App can help medical directors manage clinic performance and increase revenues while also helping providers more efficiently test and track outcomes.
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