Healthcare IT: Helping Mental Health Professionals Better Serve Patients
Mental healthcare providers are facing a crisis. The growing number of Americans seeking mental health care is putting a strain on psychologists, and it’s affecting those who need help the most.
In fact, according to the 2022 COVID-19 Practitioner Impact Survey by the American Psychological Association (APA), roughly 53% of psychologists agreed that they work more than they did a year ago. Moreover, the same survey revealed that 60% of psychologists are unable to take on new patients because they’re already at capacity.
Mental health care providers need help to handle this influx of patients. This is where healthcare IT comes in. By helping providers manage their schedules and keep track of patient information, healthcare IT can help ease the burden on psychologists and allow them to meet their patients’ needs more effectively.
Improved Clinical Outcomes
Mental health providers are working in an increasingly complicated environment, with more and more patients coming in to see them. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 50% of people in the US will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime.
The figure would mean that providers are likely to face immense pressure to cater to the growing number of patients and improve clinical outcomes.
This is where healthcare IT comes in. Healthcare IT can help providers improve clinical outcomes by helping them make sure they have all the information they need to treat their patients properly.
By using healthcare IT to collect data about their patient’s health and treatment plans, mental health providers can identify trends in patient behavior that lead to positive or negative outcomes. This allows them to make changes in their practice that will help improve their efficacy as clinicians and provide better care for their patients.
This kind of objective data is also important because it allows for comparisons between different types of treatment methods and facilities.
Better Health Records Management
The healthcare industry is in the midst of a digital revolution, and mental health providers are no exception. Mental health providers are often tasked with managing patient records and ensuring that those records are secure, accurate, and accessible to health professionals who need them. Such an environment can be challenging for these providers.
This is where healthcare IT comes into play. Healthcare IT solutions such as behavioral health EHR can help mental health providers manage their data more efficiently and effectively than ever before. For example, a behavioral health EHR system will allow these providers to streamline their operations by allowing them to view patient records from anywhere in the world at any time of day or night.
In addition to improving their workflow and making it easier for them to stay on top of things, a behavioral health EHR system can also help reduce costs associated with managing patient data.
According to Grand View Research, the U.S. behavioral health EHR market was worth $176.2 million in 2021 and will grow at 11% CAGR from 2022 to 2030. Also, psychiatric hospitals across the United States are slowly but consistently embracing EHRs at a 46% rate.
These optimistic figures are largely due to the increasing demand for digital mental health services, which are becoming more affordable and accessible as technology improves.
Higher Patient Engagement
The healthcare industry is changing rapidly due, in part, to the advancement of technology. While this growth is exciting and offers many benefits, it also makes it difficult for providers to keep up with the latest trends.
However, with the increased penetration of technology in the healthcare industry, it’s easy to see providers’ confidence in digital tools that enable higher patient engagement. According to the American Medical Association digital healthcare 2022 study, 93% of physicians feel digital health tools are important for patient care.
The figure also means patients are more comfortable with digital devices than ever before and feel empowered when physicians interact with them via these tools.
In order for mental health providers to better serve their patients, they must first understand how technology can help them achieve this goal. For example, video conferencing can allow patients who live far away from their therapists or doctors to access them more easily by making it possible for appointments to take place in real-time. This increases convenience while also eliminating some transportation costs associated with visiting a doctor’s office regularly.
Reduced Healthcare Cost
Healthcare IT can be a valuable tool for healthcare providers, as it can help them better serve their patients, reduce costs, and improve the overall quality of care.
However, healthcare organizations have always been choked by human errors. These medical errors are extremely costly, even for developed countries like the United States. According to a study published in Springer Link, medical errors cost $20 billion annually in the US alone. This figure is set to increase as our population ages and becomes more prone to chronic illnesses.
The most common causes of medical errors are miscommunication between doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers. These errors can lead to serious complications such as infections or even death.
Healthcare IT can reduce these costs by helping doctors and nurses communicate better with one another and share information more efficiently. It can also help make sure that patients receive more timely treatment and fewer unnecessary treatments.
By using electronic health records (EHRs), doctors are able to keep track of everything they need to know about their patient’s health history, so they’re better able to make informed decisions about their care.
Mental health providers, like all health care providers, are looking to improve the quality of care they provide. Healthcare IT solutions can help them achieve this goal.
With Healthcare IT solutions, mental health providers can improve communication with patients and their families and make it easier for patients to access their medical information. This improves the quality of care that mental health providers provide by giving them more insight into patients’ needs and making it easier for them to serve those needs.