In the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, everything about our lives has moved online. From ordering meals instead of going out to our favorite restaurants to working or studying remotely, technology has really allowed people around the United States to maintain their quality of life while staying safe from the virus.
One area of our lives that has changed a lot during the COVID-19 pandemic is health care, both seeing a medical doctor for physical ailments and everything related to mental health care. Psychotherapy, psychiatry, and other forms of counseling have made use of contact center software to keep providing services to patients in a virtual space. This type of counseling is called Teletherapy. If you are a psychologist, psychiatrist, or any other kind of counselor and are trying to figure out how to use contact center technology to provide Teletherapy services, read on for three helpful tips.
1. Innovative contact center software is your best friend.
Gone are the days of call centers that were just made up of rows and rows of telephones. These days, omnichannel contact center software, like the platform Bright Pattern offers, allows for clients to reach counselors on their channel of choice. That is to say, if a patient prefers a phone call, an SMS, or a video call all of those options are completely available. Plus, using Bright Pattern’s software means that counselors will have all the client information at their fingertips, and this smart software uses bots to automatically route any phone call to the right therapist. Integration of omnichannel contact center software makes life easier both for counselors and patients alike.
2. Think outside your zip code.
One of the great things about Teletherapy as an option is that it allows counselors of all stripes to reach patients in need everywhere. For example, therapists in Manhattan can provide compassion and a safe space to patients all over the United States. By the same token, adolescents or young adults in the Midwest can find the best psychiatrist or psychologist online–even if that counselor is in New York City. For this reason, don’t lock yourself down to a single zip code. If you’re a clinical social worker, family therapist, or psychotherapist in New York, advertise your Teletherapy clinic across the country. When the safe space is virtual, the cloud’s the limit.
3. Consider getting your own server.
Safety is key, especially online. This has always been true, but it’s especially true now that so much of our lives take place in a digital space. Scammers and cybercriminals are finding new ways to steal personal information and even identities from folks who haven’t spent so much time online previously. Therefore, go to the greatest of lengths to ensure that the safe space you’re providing is truly safe. One way of doing this is to purchase your own server or IP address.
When you own the server or IP address, you have much more control over who enters (or stays out of) your online space. Of course, you can also opt to use existing mobile apps like Spruce and Talkspace, but you will be dependent on their security efforts if you opt for this route.
In the end, Teletherapy is just an extension of regular outpatient psychotherapy services. There’s so much that goes into being a great counselor–most of which you already know. The only thing to do now is to use the correct technological tools to provide a great customer experience for your patients. You can do that by reaching out beyond the boundaries of your area, keeping things safe, and using an omnichannel approach for client convenience.