Everyone had to make a lot of adjustments when the pandemic hit, and that included the way both therapists and their clients approached their regularly scheduled sessions. Many therapy providers ended up offering telehealth services – about 50% more of them than before, in fact. Even now that pandemic-related restrictions are easing up, many people are still opting to use telehealth platforms instead of returning to in-person visits. Not only is it more convenient for current clients, but it also opens up the possibility of reaching potential new clients in other areas.
When it comes to teletherapy platforms, there are plenty to choose from. The question is, which ones are the best choice for both therapists and clients? You have to consider not only the quality of the platform, but also features like HIPAA-compliant video calls or file-sharing capabilities. Below you’ll find not only the five best telehealth platforms but also a breakdown of the key features to look for.
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A seamless user experience is prioritized on TheraPlatform, whether you’re providing or receiving therapy. Every plan includes unlimited online appointment bookings, clients, and waiting rooms; there’s also a client portal with e-claim submission forms, reports, interactive apps, and more. Therapists can record sessions and use an interactive whiteboard during video calls, while clients can access a library of resources. And of course, the platform is HIPAA-compliant with a secure website connection, 24/7 server monitoring, and encrypted video calls.
The most unique feature offered by VSee is the option for healthcare providers to track client progress through wireless scales, Fitbits, or blood pressure monitors. This feature (and others) makes it easy for therapists and clients to stay in touch between sessions. Clients can also keep their therapists in the loop with mood charts, food diaries, and photographs. Both payments and client intake forms can be collected through the platform, and HIPAA-compliant video calls are optimized for clients who don’t have access to high-quality internet.
3. Zoom for Healthcare
Everyone’s heard of Zoom by now, but what about Zoom for Healthcare? This platform has become one of the top telehealth providers over the past couple of years, and for good reason – they provide an array of features that help doctors and therapists connect with their patients. The main focus is on HIPAA-compliant video calls, along with integration for medical devices and electronic health records. However, they don’t offer features such as billing, appointment scheduling, or documentation.
This teletherapy platform is designed to be an all-in-one option for both therapists and clients. With high-quality HIPAA-compliant video calls and multiple features that enhance workflow, Nuna is intuitive and convenient. Users can screen-share and exchange files during online sessions, and therapists can take notes as well. Clients receive automated reminders for their appointments, and therapists are able to take care of invoicing and billing on the platform. Also, everything from video calls to billing information is securely encrypted.
As a video conferencing tool that’s HIPAA-compliant, Doxy.me has a lot to offer. In addition to video calls, healthcare professionals can take advantage of the platform’s online store to purchase equipment such as laptops, microphones, or blood pressure monitors. The interface can be customized with the provider’s brand or logo, whether that’s in the patient waiting rooms or the appointment management page. The platform is even mobile-friendly, which makes it more accessible to therapists and clients alike.
Essential features for every telehealth platform
Regardless of which teletherapy platform you use, it should have the following features. They’ll ensure that not only you, but also your clients will be able to seamlessly connect, share information, and stay secure online.
- High-quality user experience – Not only should the platform be easy to navigate, but it should also offer consistently good quality. This is especially important where video calls are concerned; if the calls keep getting dropped, are grainy, or have low sound quality, this will make it harder to maintain an acceptable standard of care for your clients. After all, if you’re using a teletherapy platform, it’ll be your main method of interacting with clients; the usability of the platform will reflect on the overall quality of the therapy.
- Key features that improve workflow – Therapists have a lot more to do than just holding sessions with their clients, and their teletherapy platform of choice should help them with every part of their work. Each platform will have a unique combination of extra features, so it’s important to consider all the options before making a decision. Do you want a platform that can send automated appointment reminders and manage your calendar, or do you want one that lets you share files between and during sessions? Can you manage invoicing and payments on the platform, or store client histories and session notes? The best teletherapy platform for you will depend on the needs of you and your clients.
- Accessible pricing options – Some teletherapy platforms have both free and paid versions, but if a significant portion of your practice will be using online sessions, you’ll probably end up using a paid version. With that in mind, you should consider how the cost of the teletherapy platform will impact your bottom line. If you choose an option that forces you to raise your prices, this won’t just affect your clients; it could also cause potential future clients to choose your cheaper competitors.
- Secure client data – HIPAA compliance is required for virtual therapy sessions just like it is for in-person ones, so this is a must-have for whatever platform you use for teletherapy. It usually involves end-to-end encryption for video calls, as well as digital security protocols for any client files that are stored on the platform.
There are several core features that should be offered by any teletherapy platform, but the best one for you will depend on the needs of your practice. One thing’s for sure – the options for telehealth platforms have improved by leaps and bounds over the last few years, and they’ll get even better over time.