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How to Improve Patient Satisfaction in Mental Health

       

The treatment of mental health has evolved throughout the years. Many different methods have improved the prevention and early intervention of mental health illnesses.Treatment within the community rather than in psychiatry hospital has also increased significantly, reducing stigmas that come along with mental health illnesses.

 

This has lead to an increase in the consumer demand for mental health care. Since in the mental healthcare field, the doctor is not required to lay hands on a patient, telemedicine serves as the perfect tool for psychiatrists, psychologists and behavioral health providers that are looking to supply the demand.

 

There is significant evidence of patient satisfaction in mental health with the use of digital tools and the implementation of telepsychiatry.  

 

According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), patients are generally satisfied with their telepsychiatry experience.

 

In fact, a PriceWaterhouseCooper survey stated that “72 percent of consumers are willing to use telehealth services such as video conference to consult with a mental health provider instead of an in-person visit.”

 

If you are a mental health practitioner looking to improve patient satisfaction, we have listed different ways you can accomplish that:

 

Decrease burden of transportation to and from appointments

 

By implementing telemedicine into your practice, you allow your patients to access to appointments from the comfort of their home avoiding the burden of driving for each session.

 

Less intrusive and more comfortable appointment

 

Mental health conditions can be a taboo for many, and the idea of meeting with a psychiatrist can be overwhelming. Some other patients might even feel embarrassed to be seen by others in a doctor’s office. Although mental illness is now widely accepted, there is still a stigma in our society.

 

Telepsychiatry could offer patients the opportunity of meeting with mental health provider from their preferred location, avoiding feeling uncomfortable at a clinician’s office.

 

Reach to patients in rural and underserved areas

 

Surprisingly, more than half of all US rural counties have no practicing mental health practitioners. For those in rural areas who are in need to see a mental health clinician, it is not an option unless they travel to urban areas. It is important to note that under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), individuals that require mental health services have coverage. This increases the demand for the already exhausted resources.

 

By implementing telepsychiatry, you will be reaching out to those patients in rural areas who are in need of care. It will also allow for collaboration between primary care teams and psychiatrists when needed.

 

It is important to remember that your psychiatric-patient relationship does not have to change. In fact, the inclusion of core values of traditional consultations, such as immediacy and trust in the personal interaction, along with digital health tools such as video conference, emails, messaging apps, or texts can serve as a great way to improve your relationship with your patients and increase patient satisfaction.


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