We live in a hyper-connected society. Almost everyone we know has a cell phone, tablet, or computer — maybe all and more. These devices are designed to make our day-to-day activities more efficient and enjoyable. While healthcare is rarely an enjoyable experience, there are always means that can be used to make it more comfortable. One of those solutions comes with improved technology that allows patients and providers to communicate and share data with speed and ease. The most common way improved communication occurs between both parties is through personal electronic devices, like smartphones. Although this sounds like a great idea, it has not exactly taken off. This is mainly because HIPAA still applies.
Those working as mental health providers over the last decade have experienced a shift in how tools are used to help their practices. This is true for both large mental health facilities and solo practitioners. Electronic health record (EHR) tools along with electronic medical record (EMR) tools have made many processes easier for mental health professionals, whether they be behavioral health, therapy, counseling EHRs, or any number of mental health categories.
Before the Affordable Care Act (ACA), addiction, drug and alcohol rehab, treatment, and recovery centers found patients through word of mouth. There weren't as many addiction-recovery practices, and marketing was more localized.
Patients were referred to treatment centers through those with professional relationships in the field – counselors, therapists, psychiatrists, hospitals, jails, the police, courts, and even churches.
Rising data breaches in healthcare have paved the way for compliance laws to keep patients' medical data secure. Thousands of healthcare providers in the US are now legally required to adhere to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). As a result, they need to use HIPAA-compliant technologies when corresponding with clients and patients online.
In industries across the spectrum, cloud computing is far outpacing physical storage infrastructure. It may provide you a sense of security knowing your data is physically on-site, however, these systems often take up valuable space, are easily compromised (including physical theft), and cost a fortune to maintain. The cloud is a "new" technology that provides an efficient working model that is secure for any industry, especially those that house sensitive data like governments, financial institutions, and healthcare.
LegitScript certification is a way for mental health practitioners to establish and build trust with potential patients online.
Potential patients and their loved ones are searching for mental health professionals online. If they are searching on social networks, such as Facebook, and using search engines, such as Google and Bing, licensed mental health practitioners need to be certified to advertise on these platforms.
Drug rehab centers are big business, with over 15,00 facilities around the U.S. and 3.7 million people receiving treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Many are filled to capacity, and many more are needed to meet the growing demand for rehab treatment.
Some of the most famous include the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, with 16 treatment centers nationwide. Drug and alcohol addiction can affect anyone; as much as society might not want to acknowledge it, this is a widespread nationwide epidemic.
More people than ever before are seeking treatment for mental health conditions.
One of the ways patients are doing this is through mental health apps. Some of the most popular on the market include Calm, Headspace, and Talkspace Online Therapy. Other apps are focusing on specific problems, such as Quit That! to help people break unhealthy habits and addictions.
eMoods is designed to help those with bipolar disorder track their moods. notOK is an app designed to prevent suicide.
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) were already popular amongst numerous organizations and sectors before the pandemic. Now, with remote and hybrid work so widespread, companies need to be even more conscious of the way they allow employees and contractors to access files and internal systems. You may ask "Do VPN's really work?" Continue reading to find out.