Are you looking for a therapist who specializes in your particular mental health disorder and who will keep your patient information safe and confidential? Do you live in a remote location with no qualified therapist to help you? Enter the relatively new field of telehealth, which brings together technology and healthcare practices.

WHAT IS TELEHEALTH?

Telehealth is a combination of the words “technology” and “healthcare.” In essence, telehealth encompasses the use of digital information and communication technologies including the use of computers and mobile devices, to access health care services remotely and manage your health care. These include technologies you use from home or that your doctor uses to improve or support your health care services. Some examples in medicine are nutrition monitoring if you’re on a specific diet, online appointments with your physician to go over lab results and healthcare reminders such as a reminder to get your flu shot.

In the field of mental health, telehealth usually involves the teleconferencing (appointments over the computer) of a healthcare professional such as a mental health therapist and the patient. American Psychological Association (APA) notes that “telehealth,” or the providing of psychotherapy by video, can be as effective as in-person (traditional) psychotherapy in certain circumstances.

The reason for the recent growth of online therapy or online counseling is mainly to solve the problem of access between client and provider. Clients/patients should be able to receive psychological treatment from a competent and highly skilled therapist in the issues or mental disorders that client is struggling with.

Psychology is becoming more like the medical profession in terms of specialization; physicians are expected to have formal training and certification in whatever disorders/diseases they are treating. We can all understand that someone with a heart problem shouldn’t be seeing a dermatologist or his or her primary doctor.

The same can be said for the mental health field. Treating someone with a sex addiction requires a great deal of training, experience, and skill. A sex addiction therapist really should be a psychotherapist who has extensive training and experience in that area. Preferably, anyone struggling with sex addicted behaviors should only be seen by a professional who is certified in the field of sex and love addiction.

Unfortunately, in many geographical areas, mental health professionals certified and skilled in working with sex (and love) addiction are scarce or simply unavailable. Except in certain circumstances, psychotherapy through online video conferencing is a better option than either no treatment or treatment by an untrained professional.

HALLMARKS OF A SUCCESSFUL TELEHEALTH PROGRAM

Telehealth, the process of receiving healthcare services via a remote connection, is growing rapidly. The benefits of telehealth are astounding, allowing those in remote locations access to the top minds in the medical and psychological fields, protecting patient privacy, and being convenient for the patient to name a few. However, as with any new and emerging industry, there will be those who aren’t exactly qualified to offer telehealth services, and there may even be those who are solely in existence to take advantage of others.

Dr. Lara Dye is a CSAT and clinical psychologist located in Austin, Texas, and serving the entire state of Texas, including Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, and Forth Worth. She specializes in helping those with process addictions that stem from childhood trauma, as well as individual counseling and couples counseling. She recently launched group counseling services as well in all of her areas of expertise, including sex addiction. Below, we’ll review what to look for in a telehealth program. Contact us today to get started!

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A TELEHEALTH PROGRAM

  • Offers patient access to care. One of the main benefits of a successful telehealth program is the ability of patients to have access to top medical professionals that they normally otherwise wouldn’t be able to have. This includes those with chronic health conditions that make traveling difficult, those that live in remote areas, and those who have mobility issues. Access to specialists, such as CSATs like Dr. Lara Dye, should be paramount when choosing a good telehealth program.
  • Lowers the overall cost of care. Healthcare only gets more expensive with each passing year, and healthcare costs can be a major imposition to those on a fixed income. Patients are looking to save as much money as possible when it comes to their healthcare costs. Telehealth eliminates the cost of travel as well as the cost of time off work, especially if they are managing a chronic condition that requires constant visits to healthcare professionals. Some telehealth programs can also reduce healthcare costs by reducing hospital readmission rates, improving communication between the patient and his or her healthcare provider, and increasing access to preventative care services.
  • Covered care. Covered care involves a reimbursement policy where healthcare insurance companies or Medicare and Medicaid will cover telehealth services for the patient and reimburse the medical facility should the patient be unable to pay.
  • Improves customer experience. When it comes to healthcare, patients want to be cared for from the moment of contact with the office staff to the moment of departure. By offering online appointment options, reduced costs for those who opt to use telehealth services instead of seeing the doctor face to face, and reducing wait times, companies and practitioners such as Dr. Lara Dye who helps sex addicts in the Dallas area can exceed patients’ expectations, making for a happier patient overall.

The value of telehealth services is continuing to provide the best care possible for healthcare practitioners and specialists without decreasing the quality of care one would receive in a doctor’s office. Improving access to the best care is the reason why most people seek out telehealth services, along with convenience, adherence to a privacy policy as set forth by HIPPA.

Dr. Lara Dye is exceedingly careful when it comes to confidentiality and patient privacy. She understands the stigma attached to some of her clinical psychologist specialities, particularly the addiction side, such as sex addiction, gambling addiction, or love addiction. These addictions are hard for those who don’t suffer from them to understand, and thus can be uncomfortable for the patient outside the four walls of therapy. Contact her today for the best CSAT and PTSD therapy services in Texas.

THE GROWTH OF TELEHEALTH

Because of the many benefits of telehealth and its potential to decrease the cost of healthcare significantly, telehealth is showing no signs of slowing down. It’s truly only a matter of time before most major health organizations, practitioners, and hospitals are offering some form of telehealth services. So what is fueling this continued growth pattern? Dr. Lara Dye, a clinical psychologist and addiction specialist who concentrates on how childhood trauma leads to other process addictions, offers telehealth services for her patients. Below, we’ll examine why telehealth is growing.

The Rise of Reliance on Smartphones

What has hindered telehealth in the past is the lack of a robust digital infrastructure. A reliable connection to the internet is a must for telehealth services. Fast forward to the 21st century where more people have a mobile device (or several), from a smartphone to a tablet or even a laptop. This has allowed telehealth providers and patients the ability to use their own smartphone device for telehealth services. Furthermore, there has been a plethora of apps for telehealth services, which makes giving and receiving telehealth services, such as process addiction therapy, possible and easy.

Better ways to monitor cybersecurity

Many patients and providers are concerned about security (and rightfully so). With the preponderance of malware, ransomware, and viruses intent on harm or pilfering private information, many patients and providers have been hesitant to fully embrace telehealth services. However, with so many benefits to both patients and providers, many are realizing that it is worth it to invest more money into cybersecurity measures so that telehealth services can be more secure.

Some measures that can be taken to increase security are monitoring telehealth systems for unusual activity, backing up healthcare information and data, encrypting patients’ records to ensure confidentiality, and instituting protocols for when or if a cyberattack or a blackout does occur, which would include measures to retrieve lost data and how to restart systems. Clinics, providers, and hospitals are also looking for ways to audit and vet digital devices before allowing their use, especially if they are the devices of healthcare providers who also use their device for personal use. Keeping patients’ information safe and secure is a top concern for all healthcare practitioners, including Dr. Lara Dye who takes every measure possible to ensure her patients’ privacy is protected.

Using artificial intelligence

With so much data now kept on digital devices, why not use that data to predict future outcomes? By enlisting the help of artificial intelligence, healthcare providers and therapists can now take the information available and use it to predict the likelihood of a future event, such as a heart attack or a relapse for those struggling with addiction. This information is helping doctors and practitioners make better treatment recommendations to their patients.

There really is nothing hindering the growth of telehealth. The advantages are numerous, and with so many patients concerned about the rising cost of healthcare, telehealth is one of the few bright spots that can help.

Dr. Lara Dye is fully embracing telehealth services. She believes in offering her years of helping others through process addictions, including love addiction, sexual addiction, and gambling addiction, through childhood trauma, and couples whose marriage is collapsing to those who need her services the most. Telehealth services breaks down walls and barriers and brings doctors and patients together in revolutionizing ways. If you’re in the Houston, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, or anywhere in Texas, contact her today to get started!