Technology in Mental Healthcare
Technology in Mental Healthcare
What Role Does Technology Play In Emotional And Mental Status Testing?
Technology is becoming a part of healthcare delivery system. With integration of technology into the healthcare system, services can be better provided which will lead to improved efficiency (Kane & Parsons, 2017). Due to the complex nature of healthcare operations, which include diagnosis, treatment, support services, and other administration services, which include record keeping, it is important to incorporate technology to improve the management and service delivery in the healthcare system (Kane & Parsons, 2017). Technology has led to accomplishment of complex healthcare services, which include treatment of some complicated diseases like cancer and nerve problems. This can also include the process of mental health care, which starts from diagnosis, treatment, and support services (Kane & Parsons, 2017).
Emotional and mental testing can benefit from technology, which will also guarantee accurate results (Kane & Parsons, 2017). Technology saves many resources, which include time and money as mental testing is done within the shortest time where health care psychologists can implement treatment strategies immediately (Kane & Parsons, 2017). This can be seen in the usage of the psychograph to detect the personality characteristics of a mental patient (Kane & Parsons, 2017). Technology has enabled emotional and mental status testing at the comfort of one’s home making it easy to access health counselors and a reduction of transport costs that could have been used by going to the healthcare facility (Kane ; Parsons, 2017).
Mental status screening can now be done through internet based screening tools where patients can be informed on the next steps to take concerning their health status results (Kane ; Parsons, 2017). This can enable treatment to start at home and monitoring to take place at the convenience of the patient as well as the counselor. Technology enables an easy access to healthcare services and improves the healthcare objectives because it enables a closer monitoring and follow up process where any negative changes can be easily detected and corrective strategies implemented (Kane ; Parsons, 2017). Technology has also led to an increase in the number of patients seeking health care services including patients with mental health problems as technology allows a 24-hour delivery of services including testing tools on the internet that can be accessed at anytime of the day (Kane ; Parsons, 2017).
Strengths in Interpreting and Reporting Results via the Use of a Computer-Aided Assessment Tool?
Using a computer-aided assessment tool to interpret and report results is becoming a common feature in the healthcare service delivery system. Most computer-aided assessment tools have been tested and proved effective which is an advantage to counselors in using these tools (Folsom, 2010). The tools have also been standardized which means that results are the same regardless where they have been used which might be different if using human knowledge to interpret the results (Folsom, 2010).
Human knowledge and understanding may vary depending on one’s educational, training skills and experience (Folsom, 2010). Another advantage of using a computer-aided assessment tool to interpret and report results is the use of less resources, which may include time, and financial resources (Folsom, 2010). Interpreting and reporting results using an individual will take a lot of time and financial resources as the individual must be qualified to analyze the results who might be expensive in accessing his/her services (Folsom, 2010).
Challenges in Interpreting and Reporting Results via the Use of a Computer-Aided Assessment Tool?
Besides the benefits that are associated with interpreting and reporting results via the use of a computer-aided assessment tool, there are challenges which include the involvement of a computer trained and experienced individual (Folsom, 2010). The use of technology-based applications requires qualified personnel to use the application who may be limited and clients have to wait for a long time to access the service (Folsom, 2010). Another concern associated with interpreting and reporting results via the use of a computer-aided assessment tool is the degree of effectiveness (Folsom, 2010).
Technological applications do not have enough evidence to prove their accuracy as traditional processes, which have been used for a long time (Folsom, 2010). These applications are also questioned on their ability to work for different people and different mental conditions (Folsom, 2010). This is because people may vary in their personality characteristics and some factors may influence mental conditions depending on the locality and cultural backgrounds, which can be better addressed by the use of traditional processes (Folsom, 2010).
Technological Advances That Assist With Interpreting and Reporting Results Should Only Be Used As A “tool” By the Counselor. Why This Is The Case? Provide At Least Two Examples.
A counselor should only use technology advances that assist with interpreting and reporting results as a tool as these tools are meant to guide the counselor in implementing any strategies to address the health issue (Backhaus et al., 2012). Using it as a tool means that the tool provides assistance in addressing the health issue and unavailability of the tool cannot affect the treatment process (Backhaus et al., 2012). Counselors should be well trained and prepared to continue with their service delivery in case the tool fails or is unavailable. The tool is meant to assist the counselor in perspectives of saving time, which can increase the number of patients that the counselor is able to handle (Backhaus et al., 2012).
Not all patients can benefit from the technology applications as some cases may require other interventions where the counselor can be able to use his/her knowledge in addressing the issue (Backhaus et al., 2012). An example of this can be a counselor who works in a remote area without access to technology resources, which may include mobile network or electricity to operate the machines (Backhaus et al., 2012). Counselors must also invest in counseling knowledge in interpreting and reporting results and not solely depend on technology advances. Application tools are not a substitute for the knowledge and training required for counselors in their profession (Backhaus et al., 2012).
Before the interpretation of the results, the counselor must collect specific information about the patient as well as implementation of treatment strategies after the tool has reported the results. The results need to be analyzed to give the right treatment to the patient as the tool is meant to assist the counselors in their job (Backhaus et al., 2012). The treatment process involves a long and complex process, which involves collection of data, analysis, treatment strategies, and support services, which include monitoring the patients (Backhaus et al., 2012). The technology tools cannot perform all these processes and the counselor must be well trained on how to integrate the technology tools where useful (Backhaus et al., 2012). An example of this can be seen where a counselor can use technology tools to diagnose a patient but the treatment process involves physical administration of medications and counseling sessions (Backhaus et al., 2012).
What Are Some Concerns Regarding The Use Of Social Media, Especially In Relation To Maintaining Professional Status Within The Counseling Field?
Social media has played an important role in relation to maintaining a professional status within the counseling field (Birky & Collins, 2011). With the advancement of technology, it is difficult to ignore the impact that social media has on individuals and their relationships with other people including a counseling relationship (Birky & Collins, 2011). Social media has led to the improvement of professional and social networking. Social media has many advantages for individuals if used correctly but there are also major concerns associated with the use of social media especially for professional relationships (Birky & Collins, 2011).
Due to the ability of social media to allow sharing of information, this can lead to a breach of patient confidentiality or breach of the professional relationship where either party can seek a different type of relationship other than the professional relationship (Birky & Collins, 2011). Social media setting allows a different type of environment, which is different from a professional environment due to the access of personal information, which can lead to wrong intentions. The office setting has a professional outlook, which can restrict personal conversations, which can lead to other relationships besides the professional relationship (Birky & Collins, 2011).
Professional counselors may not have enough time to spend on social media due to the nature of their professions (Birky & Collins, 2011). Social media is time consuming which may not be available to the professional therapists, which can negatively impact their clients who depend on the social media for information (Birky & Collins, 2011). Social media may tempt professional therapists to post unprofessional information, which may negatively affect their relationship with their clients. Clients may also view past information, which may ruin the reputation of the counselors and their relationship with their clients. Counselors should be careful on what they post on social media especially if their clients are their friends on social media (Birky & Collins, 2011).
Backhaus, A., Agha, Z., Maglione, L., Repp, A., Ross, B., Zuest, D., Rice-Thorp, M., Lohr, J., & Thorp, S.R. (2012). Videoconferencing Psychotherapy: A Systematic Review. Psychological Services, 9(2), 111-131.
Birky, I., & Collins, W. (2011). Facebook: Maintaining Ethical Practice in the Cyberspace Age. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy 25(3), 193-203.
Folsom, E. (2010). Cyber Counseling. The American Scholar 79(2), 15-25.
Kane, R. L., & Parsons, T. D. (2017). The role of technology in clinical neuropsychology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.