Next Generation Healthcare for Higher Education:
July 10, 2018
Behavioral Healthcare in Higher Education is increasingly more difficult for schools to manage. With the recent uptick seen in on-campus crisis, the emphasis on student mental health has never been stronger. Let’s explore some of the issues at hand, and look at how telemental health will facilitate a solution.
Ever expanding student populations coupled with the onset of remote learning via Satellite campuses and on-line learning exasperate the current issues for school counseling departments. Counselors are stretched thin, responsible for more lives than ever, and restrained by outdated facilities and shrinking budgets.
Counselors have traditionally been limited to static locations while students are making longer commutes, or may never have a physical presence on campus at all. Ultimately; providing the student care needed appears daunting.
Campus crises are seen as a very real threat and they present two verticles of care. First providing preemptive care to diagnose and prevent dangerous situations. The second concern is bandwith; that is to say having the resources in the unfortunate event of a crisis to provide the care needed.
Today’s Telehealth software enables counselors and health providers to communicate and interact with the student body via online video conferencing in a highly secure environment. The technology is generally expanded with a full office suite complete with scheduling, messaging, note-taking and other critical interactive features that give providers all of the functionality of an in-person setting. This means that counselors and other providers can touch almost any individual, usually in the comfort and privacy of a student’s own home; where students have shown to be more likely to open up and share. This in effect closes distance gaps and minimizes student concerns of social stigma. It is important to note telemedicine often acts as a stepping stone to in-person visits as the individual tends to feel more comfortable seeking in-person consultation after a telehealth session.
Let us not forget that today’s students are highly technical, and in many cases, associate some level of comfort with technology platforms. Our younger generations will not only be the highest adopters of telehealth technology, but we believe that they are responsible for a significant portion of the demand for telehealth resources.
Schools utilizing telehealth solutions will be able to partner with other care providers in different parts of the state on an as-needed basis, in real time. This allows schools and universities the bandwith to expand their provider network in any scenario, at any scale; A very exciting reassurance to any institution with mandated programs for behavioral care.
It is clear that Telehealth is widely accepted and growing in demand in all facets of healthcare. The next one to two years will be interesting to follow as we expect demand for Teleheath in Higher Education to increase dramatically!