We are learning so many new terms these days. Social distancing. Presumptive positive. Flatten the curve.
Telehealth is another term that may be new to some of us. It sounds very technical, but is actually a simple way of delivering treatment from a health care provider to an individual. As a part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Spurwink has recently implemented the use of telehealth across all of our outpatient and residential programs as a means to maintain services and supports to clients and families while also adhering to recommendations for social distancing.
What is Telehealth?
Telehealth is a method of providing behavioral health or physical health services via remote technology platforms rather than face to face. In most cases, it can be as simple as a video chat on a computer or phone. You will still meet with your regular provider, just in a different way.
Why would we use telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Given the CDC recommendations for social distancing to avoid the spread of illness, we can use telehealth to provide services without physical contact or travel. This will help reduce exposure and transmission for clients, families, and providers – keeping us all safer and healthier while allowing services and support to continue when critically needed.
What is changing at Spurwink?
As of Monday, March 16, 2020, Spurwink is conducting all of its outpatient services via telehealth. Please contact your provider to set up a schedule and system that works for you. If you need mental health support but don’t have a Spurwink clinician, please can contact us at The Link at 1-888-889-3903 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or www.spurwink.org. You can also search here for a clinician near you: providers.spurwink.org.
How are telehealth services delivered?
There are two primary options: video conferencing platforms (like VSee and ZOOM) and telephone contact. Your provider will set up a schedule and system that meets your needs. Don’t worry if this is new to you! We will coach you through it and come up with a system that works for you.
What about privacy with telehealth?
Privacy and confidentiality continue to be very important. In setting up a schedule and system, you and your provider will set up a private conversation and avoid being overheard by others nearby.
Do I need give approval to use telehealth?
Your provider will work with you to get your verbal and eventual written consent to use telehealth.
What should I do if I have more questions about telehealth?