What are the benefits of telehealth?
In March of 2020, Covid-19 came into all of our lives and literally disrupted the way the world lived. More specifically, this global pandemic changed the way we communicate, consumed content, order groceries, and just about everything else.
Every industry was impacted, maybe none more so than healthcare. At first, you might think that with the need to “see” a physician, the disruption to people’s care would’ve been catastrophic. Yes, there have been many strains put on the healthcare system due to the pandemic’s spread. This doesn’t even take into account the care that people needed on a daily or even a weekly basis pre-Covid. However, with an inability to be seen by most doctors this set the stage for the burgeoning industry of Telehealth to really grow.
At its core, Telehealth is a way for a patient to receive care from their doctor or service provider remotely. This care can encompass weekly medical visits, sessions with a psychologist or psychiatrist, health-care advice, and more.
Before Covid-19, many people were receiving care (as well as obtaining an education) this way. Once Covid really kicked into high gear this forced the Telehealth model to grow, as it became apparent that access to services such as Applied Behavior Analysis(ABA), and the need for those services to be maintained was a necessity.
Thus, the increase in using Telehealth for 1:1 services, supervision, team meetings, family consultations, and much more, grew exponentially even as many people’s lives changed overnight.
Now families that received such services as ABA had a lifeline. They were no longer left alone to figure out how they were going to homeschool their child in the short term, work a full-time job, and manage all the daily tasks of running their homes. Those needs would still need to be taken care of, but now they could start to restructure their lives and know that their children’s service needs would still be met. All that was needed was a device and an internet connection.
(As an aside, in order to make sure that our clients service needs were always maintained, at the pandemic’s outset, Autism Behavior Services provided devices to families that didn’t have them so that they wouldn’t lose out on the structure, consistency, and learning that daily and weekly ABA sessions provide.)
Covid-19 has been a word that we have unfortunately had to live with since March of 2020. It has affected all of our lives in innumerable ways. At the same time, it has also accelerated certain industries to redefine and reimagine ways of operating that we might never have before. With Telehealth we can now provide care and services on a consistent basis anywhere in the world. It has allowed us to rethink how we work with people as there obviously is a clear difference between meeting online and meeting in person.
When dealing with people who have special needs consistency is one of the most important components to their success. Whether one is working through concepts of ABA, social-emotional needs, Discrete, or Natural Environment Training, knowing that you have support can make all the difference.
Much has changed over the past nearly two years since Covid started, and much more is likely to change as this pandemic becomes endemic. However, Telehealth is here to stay and it’s an important resource that is available to everyone.