Feeling your pain part 3: Connect your patients to the best Providers

Feeling your pain part 3: Connect your patients to the best Providers

The very best providers, psychiatric or otherwise, are in high demand.  Meanwhile, according to the 2010 census and hrsa.gov their are 46.2 million Americans living in non-metropolitan statistical areas who have very limited access to these “rock star” providers.  That is…UNTIL NOW!!!

Below is just one example of what an organization in a rural area can do using Secure Telehealth Software.

From Jon Day – Executive Director of Blue Valley Behavioral Health

Blue Valley Behavioral Health is Nebraska’s largest rural behavioral health provider. We have 12 different offices throughout Southeast Nebraska and the geographic distance between them has been a difficulty since we started almost 50 years ago. Obtaining various provider types to cover such a large rural area, coordinating services amongst the different providers and making sure high quality treatment was being delivered was the triple threat we experienced on an ongoing basis. We started providing our Medication Management services via Secure Telehealth one Saturday morning once a month about four years ago. In combination with our EMR we proliferated to providing Telehealth services throughout all our 12 offices which included Medication Management, Mental Health and Substance Abuse services to both adults and youth. We went from seeing about 100 people the first year with Secure Telehealth to 1,000 people now per year.

We have now become Nebraska’s largest telehealth provider with behavioral health services. Not only have we increased our services and the number of people seen with telehealth, we have also expanded into new sites such as rural hospitals, jails, law enforcement and schools. We have completely expanded our services with Secure Telehealth and were able to do so without any high dollar grants or special funding. We did it with our own finances because it was affordable and easy to implement. Jim Mountain from Secure Telehealth has helped us execute our Telehealth vision and have made believers out of many people.

In addition to the telehealth services we provide throughout our office and alternative locations, here are a few interesting telehealth occurrences we have experienced:

  • We have one of our counselors who worked for us still providing mental health and substance abuse services in 3 of our offices…from Minnesota where she lives.
  • We had a substance abuse counselor providing a Prevention Class who was very resistant to using telehealth (via Secure Telehealth) and tended to avoid all things related to computers or technology. She is now providing her Prevention Class in her regular office but several of her class participants are now joining in from several different states throughout the US. In fact, she often has more people participating in her class via telehealth than in person.
  • We provide Crisis Response Services throughout rural Nebraska and work with many different county law enforcement agencies and hospitals. We had several law enforcement agencies initially refuse to do telehealth services because they didn’t think it worked. Now they initiate more services because they know telehealth is viable service.

 

With any new service delivery system, it needs to be implemented wisely and having a particular strategy driving it. Secure Telehealth has allowed us to increase the number of clients we see, expand services, provide services in new environments, increase the productivity of our staff and increase our overall revenue.

 

Jon Day LIMHP

Executive Director

Blue Valley Behavioral Health

 

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