Where telehealth can help curb the mental health staffing shortage

Where telehealth can help curb the mental health staffing shortage

First, I think it's important to understand the dynamics of "provider burnout." Most people who go into healthcare or behavioral health services are service-oriented, compassionate people. Telehealth can mitigate provider burnout by eliminating long commutes that can be stressful and costly, while also freeing up time for a clinician to see patients from their homes. But I want to emphasize that the shortage extends to other behavioral health professionals, such as nurse practitioners and licensed clinical social workers, all of whom can bring value to the behavioral health needs of patients. Regarding access to a provider, there are huge wait lists for people just to make an appointment with a mental health professional. The efficiencies built into telehealth that allow patients to log on from their homes or work provide an excellent solution for vulnerable populations to increase access to behavioral health specialists when they need them. Telepsychiatry provides the expertise attending ED physicians need to properly manage patients with acute and complex mental health conditions. Outside of the ED, telepsychiatry also can open up access to specialty behavioral healthcare across the continuum and can help hospitals and health systems manage their referral queues and triage patients to the right provider at the right time.




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