Thanks in large part to the pandemic of the last two years, the use of telehealth is at an all-time high. Whether people need to see a doctor about a sore throat, or they want to keep up with their therapy appointments, telehealth has provided an option that allows them to skip the masks and other Covid-related restrictions. It turns out that those aren’t the only benefits, though; patients can also save time and money by choosing telehealth consultations over conventional in-person healthcare.
The statistics speak for themselves: even though the pandemic is easing up, people are still using telehealth 3,800% more than they were before 2020. This includes those who made appointments for common infections or illnesses, chronic diseases, follow-up visits, and talk therapy. Speaking of talk therapy, a 2021 survey showed that nearly half of participants would consider taking part in sessions via a telehealth platform.
The question is, which therapy practice management software is best for both the patient and the therapist? Obviously one of the first considerations is compliance with HIPAA requirements, but the right telehealth platform will offer a lot more than just secure video calls. Ease of communication, data capabilities, and usability are just a few of the factors that go into choosing a telehealth platform. What are some of the best choices? Read about them below.
This telehealth platform doesn’t just provide the usual HIPAA-compliant video calls; they also ensure that therapists and clients can easily keep in touch between appointments. Their waiting rooms show patients how long they’ll have to wait in case of delays, and in the meantime, there are educational videos for them to watch. If they have any questions while they wait, they can even use VSee’s live chat.
- VSee has been optimised for poor-quality connections, so patients living overseas or in rural locations won’t be kicked out of virtual appointments because of weak internet service
- Integrated features let providers collect payments and client intake forms
- Patients can send mood charts, food diaries, and photographs to providers at any time
- Providers are able to establish wellness milestones, and patients can contribute to progress monitoring by using connected devices (Fitbits, blood pressure monitors, and wireless scales, for instance)
- Free Forever plan: free
- Basic plan: $49 per month
- Enterprise plan: contact sales for a quote
This platform is mainly used for video conference calls (for personal or work purposes in most cases), but thanks to their solid encryption measures, all three levels of GoToMeeting plans are HIPAA-compliant. Even though most telehealth appointments on this platform will be one-on-one, users have the ability to set up conferences calls with 150 people or more. The main drawback is that features like billing, device integration, or appointment scheduling are absent; separate software is needed for that to be possible.
- Providers can easily stay on top of patients’ progress with chat messaging
- Video meetings have no time limit
- Users can take notes and share screens during meetings, making information exchange smoother
- Professional plan: $12 per month
- Business plan: $16 per month
- Enterprise plan: contact sales for a quote
TheraPlatform was built specifically for therapy practitioners and their clients, and it’s continually being improved in order to be a better fit for users. Therapists can bill patients automatically and view detailed reports; patients can use e-claim submission forms, and take advantage of interactive apps. All three plans allow unlimited clients, the ability to book appointments online, a client portal, and waiting rooms. Both the Pro and the Pro Plus plans have additional features, such as interactive whiteboards, session recording, and a resource library.
- TheraPlatform ensures HIPAA compliance with secure video calls, an encrypted website connection, database backups, and 24/7 server monitoring
- Billing is made easy with automatic invoicing and charging
- Patients get reminders for each appointment, and the scheduling system makes adjustments for different time zones
- Therapists can keep notes on sessions and track client outcomes
- A feature-rich client portal is available; patients can use it to view invoices, complete various forms, and schedule appointments
- Basic plan: $39 per month
- Pro plan: $49 per month
- Pro Plus plan: $59 per month
Zoom for Healthcare
Zoom has gotten pretty popular during the pandemic as a way to connect with family, friends, and colleagues, but they’ve also branched out into telehealth. Zoom for Healthcare allows HIPAA-compliant video calls between providers and their patients, and they even allow integration with medical devices and electronic health records. What they don’t include, though, are capabilities for billing, documentation, or scheduling.
- Waiting rooms help providers and patients avoid missed video calls
- The exchange of information is streamlined thanks to in-app file sharing and screen sharing
- Providers are able to revisit recorded sessions
- The popularity of Zoom means that plenty of patients will already know how to use the platform
- For 9 or fewer providers: $14.99 per month
- For 10 or more providers: beginning at $19.99 per month
This HIPAA-compliant telehealth platform comes with all kinds of features for both providers and patients. Healthcare providers can customize the platform with their own brand name or logo, and they can also visit Doxy’s online store to peruse telehealth-related equipment (laptops, microphones, blood pressure monitors, and much more).
- No plugins or downloads required; the experience is mobile-friendly
- Flexibility is made easy for everyone, as appointments can be managed within the app; this means providers are able to reschedule in the event of a missed appointment
- Patients can queue in waiting rooms, check in virtually, and even choose which images, videos, or reading materials they see while they wait
- Limited services: free
- Individual providers: $35 per month
- Clinics: $50 per month (for each user)
What are your expectations for the management software used in therapy practice?
Telehealth technology is continually evolving to meet demand, and the platforms above represent that perfectly. They all have their own unique features and capabilities, but they also have something in common – they make it easier than ever to access high-quality healthcare.
Adam Mulligan did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health and well-being.