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Home > Growth of Virtual Therapy
With the increase of accessibility to the world around us through our phones, it’s no surprise that therapy has also expanded into the digital sphere. Telehealth itself has been around for more than 20 years, originating in the military. Recently, over the last several years nearly a dozen of online therapy companies have been created.
Through video visits, patients can create an appointment online and talk with a therapist without leaving their seat. The convenience of online therapy is only one of the reasons it has grown in popularity.
Patients also have more privacy of speaking with a therapist in their home, which could be a great benefit to those who have not sought therapy before. Video visits can be paired with office visits as well. Many healthcare providers use video visits as a way of checking in with patients before their next appointment.
Its accessibility allows those without reliable transportation, in rural areas and those with disabilities who may not otherwise have access to travel, the ability to see a therapist.
Online therapy is not for everyone though. Patients with more serious mental illnesses or addictions may need a more traditional therapy visit rather than a digital one. Consult with your therapist or primary care provider to see if therapy through video visits would be right for you.
Be sure to verify that the therapist you are seeing is licensed. The terms “therapist” and “psychotherapist” are not legally protected in most states, meaning anyone can claim to be a therapist and offer services that may appear as therapy. Most states have an online database of professionals licensed within that state, but when in doubt - ask.
Like a traditional office visit, video visits with a therapist are private, meaning what is said in therapy stays there. The site or app being utilized for virtual therapy should be HIPAA compliant. For example, Mercy’s MyChart app is a secure and private app created through our Epic health record system. Access to information is controlled through secure activation codes, personal usernames, and passwords. Each person controls their password, and the account cannot be accessed without that password. Further, MyChart uses the latest 128-bit SSL encryption technology with no caching to automatically encrypt your session with MyChart.
Currently Mercy EAP does offer video visits for its clients. To learn more how your company can utilize this service contact MercyCare Business Health Solutions at (319) 369-4455 or submit an online form here.