Virtual Care for Behavioral Health—What Does the Future Hold?

Unfortunately, less than 10% of the patients who seek behavioral health help go to a hospital or clinic in crisis. At the same time, more than half of those who get help don’t complete their treatment or receive less than the optimum amount of treatment due to poor engagement or inadequate service options. Though the healthcare interactions have still been sluggish and resistant to change, the pandemic forced the industry to embrace technologies that improve the way care is delivered. Digital health innovators embraced this opportunity and started their sprint to develop telehealth and virtual care solutions to expand access, improve outcomes and engage patients while decreasing the risk of exposure.

By 2040, a significant portion of care, prevention, and well-being services will shift to virtual settings, as mentioned in a Deloitte study. The study also revealed that the virtual health market in the United States is projected to grow more than twenty-three percent annually over the next five years, reaching close to US$100 billion by 2025, according to a recent estimate.

With virtual health transforming the healthcare landscape, more and more traditional healthcare businesses will need to embrace virtual care to remain competitive and to continue receiving new patients

Virtual health services remain at the center of the care continuum.

Virtual health care includes virtual care platforms or mobile apps that offer a variety of tech-assisted tools that provide a holistic approach to patient care, creating higher patient engagement and improved chances of successful outcomes.

Virtual care apps allow for convenient, high-quality access to care while providing patients with tools to maintain their sobriety outside of the clinical environment. Practitioners access more data with the new virtual models of care, which means they can provide a more efficient personalized experience.

Routine administrative time-consuming tasks get cut in half with the use of these apps. Many of these apps run on automation, AI, and machine learning capabilities. They give the enterprise more flexibility in staffing, various communication methods used in treating patients, flexibility to have staff work virtually, and the ability to see patients who didn’t fit the in-patient face-to-face model.

An all-in-one virtual care platform can support sustained recovery management for enterprises and practitioners who treat patients with complex behavioral health conditions. For example, practitioners can run online programs to help patients with addiction recovery or substance use or prevent the condition’s onset.

Physicians can potentially reduce hospital admissions by providing ongoing evaluations while increasing patient satisfaction and treatment adherence.

Telehealthcare allows practicians to engage in meaningful patient encounters, increase access to remote patients and maximize patient engagement and retention

Practicians can also leverage Artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities while enabling remote imaging to securely view patient images and reports and facilitating practitioner collaboration and quicker diagnosis.

Enterprises are also using AI to identify anomalies that highlight diagnosis in some cases.

Virtual care – The new normal in Behavioral Health?

Virtual care apps offer practicians the freedom and flexibility they deserve to work across multiple healthcare providers and enterprises.

With a virtual care app, practicians get the ability to expand patient access to care, schedule and host virtual sessions, maintain contact with patients even after discharge, and save time by automating workflows for evaluation and follow-ups.

Practicians can leverage better tools and products and can focus on what matters to them the most.

Virtual care also enables enterprises to maximize engagement and retention while reducing the administrative burden for scheduling, payment, admissions, and follow-ups.

Practicians at these enterprises can evaluate patient progress and practitioner efficacy at scale and offer a personalized patient experience by delivering content and outcomes assessments.

The bottom line

Virtual care plays a significant role in the future of behavioral health, and healthcare stakeholders who want to thrive in the future will need to integrate new business models.

By providing access to virtual behavioral healthcare, enterprises improve the prevention and treatment of chronic conditions.

People who struggle with depression, for example, can find it challenging to follow treatment plans, especially those who are remote, uninsured, deterred by stigma, facing transportation, or employment barriers.

Practicians can deliver accurate service doses to maximize the family member’s role in the recovery process. Virtual care strengthens the provider-patient connection, builds trust, and maximizes patient engagement.

References:

https://www.cmswire.com/customer-experience/improving-the-customer-experience-of-healthcare-interactions/

https://nulifevirtual.com/what-does-2021-hold-for-virtual-care/

https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/health-care/future-of-virtual-health.html