The Future of Virtual Care for Mental Health in a Post-Pandemic World

Virtual care for mental health is something that’s been slowly changing and evolving over the past several years. As technology and its capabilities have grown, so has the need for virtual care. Virtual care was primarily seen as something to complement in-person care until the COVID-19 pandemic made virtual care into a necessity. As people around the globe grappled with the reality of the pandemic and its significant mental health implications, providers quickly pivoted and began offering multiple forms of virtual care.

What is virtual care for mental health?

Virtual care is a broad term that encompasses all the ways healthcare providers remotely interact with their patients to provide care. It does not refer to specific technologies used or pieces of information exchanged. Providers can treat clients via telehealth, and may also use live video, audio, email exchanges and instant messaging to communicate with their patients remotely. This can include checking in via phone or video conferencing after an in-person visit, monitoring symptoms via an app, or responding to any questions via text or email that a client may have. The term virtual care is a way of talking about all the ways clients and providers can use digital tools to communicate in real-time. Virtual care is a broad term that refers to a variety of mental health services.

Direct Care Tools are the heart and soul of virtual care. They include any way a provider might connect with a client via telehealth. Some examples are activities like a phone assessment or an online therapy session.

Mobile Applications provide a way for clients to monitor symptoms at home and to share results with the provider. They include apps where clients can self-assess different issues or track symptoms over a period of time.

Asynchronous Communication Tools provide a way for clients and providers to communicate even if they aren’t online at the same time. They include secure messaging through technology like SMS, emails or other tools within a client portal.

What is the future of virtual care for mental health?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual care for mental health was a necessity. It’s also necessary for our future.

The mental health industry is evolving at a fast pace as providers look for ways to increase their patients’ access to care while reducing the cost of mental healthcare. Technology is making it easier for mental health providers to communicate with their patients and provide virtual care. It also helps break down the barriers that can impede a client’s access to mental health care. With the help of direct care tools, mobile applications and asynchronous communication tools, clients can now interact with mental health providers from any location including the comfort of their own home. This is especially beneficial for those who live in rural communities, who have transportation limitations, or who have physical limitations that make it difficult to travel. Mental health providers should continue to educate clients on the benefits of virtual care as it helps increase access to care and reduce costs.

Exym Behavioral Health EHR Supports Virtual Care

In March 2021, Exym Behavioral Health EHR launched Exym Engage, a set of tools that supports remote work and virtual care. In a world where clients and staff aren’t always face-to-face in an office, providing treatment and managing all the required paperwork can be hard.  Replicating the in-person experience as much as possible, Exym Engage is an all-in-one telehealth software solution that allows the clinician to move through their daily tasks from one centralized location, simplifying their workflows so they can focus on what they do best: delivering great care. 

Some of the features include: 

  • Launch a telehealth therapy session with clients right from the Exym screen and share documents with the client through secure messaging in the session itself.  
  • Collect intake documents and file them in the client record, with clients and their families able to sign electronically from their phone or computer.  
  • Communicate with clients between sessions through secure messaging that doesn’t expose any staff’s personal phone numbers or email addresses. All communication history is saved so it can be accessed in the future.  
  • Clients can retrieve the records they’ve requested electronically. Telehealth and secure messaging with document exchange are powered by Mend and supported by their incredible bi-lingual support staff to help your patients with any questions!

All of this comes with standards of HIPAA compliance, access controls, and record retention.

What is Exym Behavioral Health EHR?

Exym is a leader in behavioral health EHR software for behavioral health agencies. We proudly serve agencies across California with our intuitive, robust behavioral health EHR system. 45,000+ clients per month are served by clinicians who use Exym’s cloud-based EHR software to simplify their billing, documentation, and case management needs. As a behavioral health EHR company in California, Exym is built to meet California’s unique needs and regulations.

It’s never too late to switch EHR’s to one that fits your needs in a constantly changing world. We invite you to fill out our online form for pricing and a demo or call us at (714) 657-3500.  We can’t wait to help you get started!