Services Access: Teletherapy

An expanding telecommunication infrastructure makes it possible to deliver behavioral health care to an increasing number of patients. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services identifies telehealth teletherapy to be the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support and promote long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration.

Many of the behavioral health procedures that are delivered “face-to-face” can be delivered remotely. Through Pathfinders Behavioral Health, behavioral health services are provided using live, interactive video-conferencing by way of a two-way audiovisual link between client and care provider. Research regarding the use of technologies in behavioral healthcare suggests that video-conferencing can provide effective services. Received well by patients, teletherapy provides a number of important benefits to patients, clinicians, provider organizations, and communities. Along with other benefits, it can be a cost-effective way to improve access to specialty behavioral health services in rural and underserved communities, including incarcerated. Increased clinician safety, privacy, and an expanded range of services are essential components of telebehavioral health programs.
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