Nowadays, we see the benefits of using remote patient monitoring systems and telehealth to improve healthcare delivery. And these innovations have the potential to aid in the better provision of mental health services as well.
An Insufficient Number of Mental Health Practitioners
One of the most prevalent barriers to treatment for mental illness is that many rural areas are lacking in mental health practitioners. The fact that professionals are hard to come by, coupled with the idea that mental health practitioners often face hostile attitudes from community members, is a dangerous double-edged sword for those afflicted with mental health disorders.
A Lack of Access to Mental Health Professionals
Like other rural areas, rural communities often suffer from an insufficient number of mental health practitioners. Many rural communities rely on telehealth to bring in mental health practitioners, but access to a computer, internet connection, and a webcam is not always guaranteed.
The fact that the most impoverished and rural communities are the most likely to have mental health disorders is troubling, but it’s a fact that must be addressed. America needs to be taking better care of its rural citizens.
A Lack of Mental Health Awareness
When mental health awareness is low, it’s difficult to discuss mental health or to seek out treatment. The stereotype that people who have mental illnesses are dangerous or have violent tendencies is often propagated even in the face of evidence that contradicts it. In fact, the evidence shows that people with mental illness are much more likely to be the victims of violence than the perpetrators.
Involvement and Cooperation by the Patient
A surprising number of people suffering from mental health disorders are not seeing a therapist or taking their prescribed medicine. That said, there is no way to force a person to get treatment, and policing people with mental health disorders is not a useful solution.
Ongoing Attention and Care
As with any chronic illness, it is important to take ongoing care of your mental health. Rather than being a single incident or a single occurrence, mental illnesses are long-term, sometimes lifelong problems. It is important to give them the attention they deserve and seek the care that is necessary.
Even if initial consultations are held in the office, telehealth options make follow-up appointments more convenient and easy to organize. Patients may set up recurrent appointments more simply, and doctors can see more patients in the office if that’s what’s needed. Data collection and input are simplified with RPM solutions, whether automated equipment or patient entry into applications are used.
A crisis is an event that occurs unexpectedly and often involves a serious threat to the health and well-being of a person or of many people. In the case of a crisis, it is important for both the professional and the patient to assess the situation and to determine what intervention can be taken to reduce the risk of harm or to prevent harm from occurring. It is also important for both parties to have a comprehensive, clearly understood plan to follow in the event one or both parties need the help of emergency services.
Telehealth and remote patient monitoring in the case of a crisis allows the patient and the caregiver to assess the potential threat and to offer intervention before the situation requires an emergency response.
Remote patient monitoring allows psychiatrists to monitor patients who may be prone to suicide, violence, or other harmful behavior. The use of remote patient monitoring solutions in the case of a crisis gives the patient and the caregiver an advantage in the case of an unexpected and unforeseen event.
The rise of mental health disorders and the opioid epidemic are problems that America is facing today. They are issues that will not go away on their own. It is important that these problems are addressed in a proactive manner and that preventative measures and treatment plans are put into place.
Telehealth and remote patient monitoring have been proven tools for connecting mental health practitioners with patients and for keeping patients engaged in their care. It is only through proactive efforts and the use of telehealth that rural citizens and those with mental health disorders can seek out the care they need and prevent future tragedies.
At Medistics Health, our goal is to improve healthcare so that everyone has access to it and may lead better lives in the years ahead. We want to make interactions between the patient, the care manager, and the physician as simple and comfortable as possible. Our remote patient monitoring service can help you by providing you with quick treatment from the comfort of your own home. Contact us today to get started.