The past few years have been especially taxing on people’s mental health. They’ve experienced ongoing anxieties about COVID-19, grieved the loss of loved ones due to the pandemic, and have had trouble coping with the isolation of lockdowns. Because of the additional stressors 2020 instigated, getting people help as quickly as possible is more important than ever.
In one distressing statistic, suspected suicide attempt ED visits were 50.6% higher among teenage girls in 2020 than during the same period the year before. This demonstrates why mental health services are vital for many demographics during the pandemic and beyond.
One of the best ways for mental health professionals to tackle the challenges of COVID-19 is to invest in technology designed to make their lives easier. Here are a few must-haves for psychiatrists and psychologists to help people through these difficult times.
For some individuals with mental health issues, even getting out of bed is a challenge, let alone getting dressed to visit a doctor’s office. Combined with the ongoing threat of COVID-19, remote options for these patients seem natural. Eliminate the hurdle of getting nervous patients into an office during COVID-19 by offering HIPAA-compliant telemedicine. A depressed or anxious patient will be far more likely to commit to a virtual session in the comfort of their own home if help is only a mouse click away.
Online Appointment Scheduling for Patients
Many individuals feel more comfortable scheduling appointments virtually than calling to schedule them. This is especially true for Millennials: 90% of them booked their medical appointments online or through a mobile device in 2019. Moreover, the personal interaction that phone calls provide is often a deterrent for people struggling with issues like social anxiety. That’s why it’s important for mental health professionals to allow an option that uniquely fits their patients in a way that traditional appointment scheduling methods do not. As an added bonus, look for a scheduling system that will allow online cancellation and rescheduling in case they’re no longer able to attend the previously allotted time.
Email/Text Appointment Reminders
Giving appointment reminders is always a good idea for any business, and doubly so for mental health professionals. Many mental health issues like depression and attention deficit disorder (ADD) impact the memory, so it makes sense to send reminders. However, the way you send these reminders is important for patients’ comfort levels. In addition to offering online scheduling for psychologist and psychiatrist appointments, consider sending email or text appointment reminders to patients rather than making traditional phone calls reminders. This enhancement will save your practice time and also make anyone who is phone-shy more comfortable.
The Best Mental Health Technology for Professionals
One of the most user and patient-friendly digital healthcare solutions for psychiatrists and psychologists alike is DocResponse, an all-in-one solution that provides:
- Single-click, download-free telemedicine software
- Easy online scheduling from your practice’s website
- Appointment reminders automatically sent out via text and email
Additionally, DocResponse has helpful tools like customized screeners and reputation management to ensure your mental health practice is working at maximum efficiency.
Ease of access to psychiatrists and psychologists is crucial in 2021, so do your part to promote it. Technology is not only convenient for healthcare professionals — it also saves lives. You never know when a suicide could be prevented thanks to the availability of telemedicine sessions at your practice.
Contact us today to learn more about how DocResponse helps patients get the help that they need through its ease of use and virtual care options.