15 Nov 2017 Healthcare

Telehealth: Placing Recovery Ownership Back in the Client’s Corner

Traci Shannon
Traci Shannon
Communications Director, 2nd Chance Counseling

Telemedicine is not a new concept. From the use of two-way radios in Australia, to video chats with space-bound NASA astronauts, medical professionals have sought to meet the needs of their patients at a distance for decades. As online communication has exploded over the last decade however, telemedicine has emerged as a legitimate alternative to a traditional medical practice.

Originally, telehealth coverage was limited to underserved patients in rural areas; however, telemedicine is now utilized within hospital and clinic settings, as well as in remote care. The benefits of telehealth are vast. Doctors share patient histories; VA clinics treat disabled veterans via video chat; and satellite clinics of larger medical entities offer telemedicine scheduling options.

For professionals in the addiction treatment industry, telemedicine offers a valuable platform to ensure clients can receive counseling regardless of their geographic location, personal commitments, lifestyles, or individual needs.

At 2nd Chance Counseling,we believe telemedicine has the ability to relieve some of limiting circumstances many addiction treatment clients commonly face including:

  • Non-traditional work hours that make scheduling counseling services difficult
  • The costs associated with travel that make committing to appointments stressful
  • The discomfort of meeting with counselors in an office which can be unnerving to millennials and other clientele.

Teletherapy offers unique flexibility to meet the needs of clients and to relieve some of the pain points of in-office visits. We’ve also found that teletherapy can help combat the issue of relapse among clients who graduate from treatment programs.

We know that relapse rates increase when the individual goes back to their home environment and are exposed to all of their triggers and stressors. Teletherapy offers a clear alternative to mandated meetings which all too often set up the client for failure. By removing the obstacles to care, teletherapy places ownership of recovery squarely in the client’s corner. No more must they choose between life’s commitments and treatment, and no more will a missed bus or late paycheck provide an excuse.

Finding a good treatment provider can be a tricky task. There are providers all over who offer a variety of services. 2nd Chance Counseling treats our telehealth platform as a form of outpatient therapy. We work directly with clients, and also offer our services as a follow-up to residential care. Our business plan is built around meeting the recovery needs of the millions underserved by the current addiction counseling paradigm.

There is not just one way to treat addiction, just as there is not just one solution to the addiction epidemic. It’s our job to alleviate pain points and limitations to make client care and accessibility a priority. Telehealth is a viable tool to make these goals a reality.

Does your treatment facility utilize digital tools to stay connected with clients post-care? Share the benefits or challenges you’ve experienced in the comments below. 

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