The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a forceful period of transformation for the healthcare field, as economic pressures and safety concerns have intersected with medical and mental health needs. In response, healthcare organizations are pivoting to offer multi-layered treatment plans with a focus on telehealth.
Across the country, organizations have tasked telehealth directors, managers, or telemedicine program coordinators with implementing an ethical and practical telehealth transition plan. But directing a telehealth program is a complicated endeavor; few practices are prepared to effectively launch compliant, large-scale telehealth operations. Professionals in these roles need to understand the full scope of managing telehealth services (from strategy to implementation and evaluation). Learning about these competencies can help directors avoid pitfalls, maximize efficiency, invest in a long-term utilization plan, and increase satisfaction for customers and clinicians.
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) has the perennial responsibility of setting social work standards and ethics. In recent years, technological options for client engagement have flourished, resulting in an explosive demand for new mandates, guidelines, and tech boundaries in the social work field.
The NASW is the largest professional organization dedicated to ethical social work practice. Represented by 130,000 members from 50 US states, they have established safety principles for social workers and their clients. The NASW clinical social work standards are widely cited by students, professionals, and educators to inform their practice behaviors. Though they are the leading member organization, the NASW partners with other social work groups. An example of their partnership is with The Association of Social Work Boards’ (ASWB). The NASW used the ASWB’s 2015 Model Regulatory Standards for Technology and Social Work Practice as a partial framework for the 2017 Technology in Social Work Practice Guidelines. The 2017 document represents the most current provisions for the ethical use of technology. In addition to the NASW and ASWB, the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and the Clinical Social Work Association (CSWA) have contributed to the current technology recommendations for the social work profession. The four collaborative organizations arrived at the 2017 standards after forming the Task Force for Technology Standards in Social Work Practice.
Jay Ostrowski describes how his telemental health platform, Adaptive Telehealth, offers modern features for well-reasoned clinicians. With expertise in HIPAA compliance, Jay created his platform to anchor therapists as they walk an unstable mental health tightrope. Choosing Adaptive as your telehealth home base accommodates your clients, while attuning to your practice goals.
In a notoriously digital age, the healthcare industry has been the newest convert to online, virtual, and distance-based telehealth technology. The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), the Alliance for Connected Care, and the American Telemedicine Association—with enthusiastic support from 22 experts on various points of the healthcare spectrum—have formed a synergistic Taskforce on Telehealth policy (TTP). The group recently launched a forward-thinking campaign that targets three fundamental categories:
Finding a training for telephone counseling can be an exhausting, time-intensive process for clinicians. Knowing what to look for, and why training is essential to begin with, are key pieces of information for over the phone counseling. First, let’s start with what topics are essential for phone counseling—
Alison Connelly-Flores is a certified physician assistant and chief medical information officer at Urban Health Plan Inc. in New York City. The onset of COVID-19 triggered a last-minute IT whirlwind, leaving Alison scrambling to devise, develop, and demonstrate the effectiveness of telemedicine services for Urban Health Plan. Tasked with merging clinical and technological initiatives, Alison has worked around the clock to attain the federally qualified health center status for Urban Health Plan and remain financially competitive.
Jorge Mastrapa, the co-founder of the cybersecurity company CySeSo, discusses his user-friendly approach to helping healthcare organizations feel more secure. As an MBA/PhD with an executive background in analysis, strategic development, and international business, Jorge brings a wealth of experience to his consultations. CySeSo helps organizations keep their patient data safe from predatory digital opportunists.
Most of CySeSo’s customers are individual practitioners or medium-sized healthcare companies seeking end-to-end cyber solutions. Issues range from security breaches to comprehensive disaster recovery scenarios. Regardless of their specific concerns, Jorge individualizes consultations to construct a security plan around the existing business.
G Suite through Google can solve many of your technological needs as a provider. Telehealth Certification Institute is pleased to announce that we have created an in-depth course, "G Suite for Healthcare", to help you better understand the use of G Suite as an integral part of your practice. Raymond Barrett of Telehealth Certification Institute and Mark Jones, Certified Google Expert, offer over 5.5 hours of instruction that addresses the capabilities of G Suite so that you can maintain security and remain ethically and legally compliant when you offer services as a healthcare provider. This professional guidance from the team of a telehealth expert plus a Google expert will quickly answer questions you have about how best to use the variety of products offered in G Suite.
Over 3000 Professionals Gather for Virtual Telemental Health Preparedness Summit
In May 2020, as a response to the global coronavirus pandemic, the Telehealth Certification Institute hosted the first Telemental Health Preparedness Summit, a large-scale virtual training, in cooperation with national behavioral health associations, telehealth infrastructure companies, and expert clinical trainers.
COVID-19 significantly accelerated the need for behavioral health providers to serve clients virtually, requiring that the vast majority of clinicians become immediately trained in the technical, legal, and ethical aspects of telehealth. As national experts in certifying professionals in Telemental Health, the summit offered training and CE hours, in addition to opportunities for Telemental Health Certification. The Telemental Health Preparedness Summit brought together behavioral health professionals across disciplines (including therapists, psychologists, social workers, professors, chaplains, students, etc.) to quickly and competently train on critical remote services.