March 26, 2020
Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services conversion from in-clinic outpatient appointments to telehealth appointments ramped up within a week. Pine Rest has provided telehealth services for more than three years, but went from a little more than 400 telehealth visits in a month to now completing 700 visits a day due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Starting March 17, all telehealth therapy and psychiatry visits, which are done through a HIPAA compliant telehealth service, began taking place in clinicians’ homes. Although Pine Rest had about 125 clinicians trained to do telehealth while located in a clinic, Pine Rest trainers were able to train an additional 125 others and trained all 250 clinicians on how to do telehealth from their home instead of the office. All was done to meet the current needs of Pine Rest clients and future needs of individuals who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For some people—both clinicians and patients–the thought of meeting via telehealth technology initially seemed overwhelming. However, as people have tried it out, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Clinicians were initially worried patients wouldn’t like teletherapy but have repeatedly heard from patients that they have found this to be a positive and effective way to continue treatment,” says Jean Holthaus, LISW, Telehealth Clinic Manager, Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services.
Here are a few of the highlights:
- 250 therapists are currently conducting teletherapy appointments.
- 60 psychiatrists are providing telepsychiatry.
- Last week, Pine Rest clinicians treated more than 3,500 patients through telehealth.
- This week and next, Pine Rest has more than 5,000 patients per week scheduled.
Pine Rest still has capacity to add more patients to the schedule. Individuals can call 866.852.4001 or visit pinerest.org/telehealth to learn more or set up an appointment.