Spring 2018
Vol 115.1

Leveraging the power of technology in practice

Telemedicine

The

Effect

A preview of program opportunities from an AROC Keynote Speaker

Marlene M. Maheu, PhD

Technological innovation has created a sea change in all industries, including healthcare. The average American owns at least one cell phone, and checks it an average of 150 times per day. Clients/patients not only want practitioners to use technology, but are also manifesting a wide range of problems related to technology. For example, neurological research is showing that large numbers of children, teens and adults suffer from over stimulation by technology. Communication patterns are changing to the point that some people, especially teens, prefer text messaging to verbal interaction. Addictive use of online pornography and cyber-affairs are a common source of marital strife.

 

Yet, the average clinician does not know how to responsibly leverage the power of technology in his or her practice. While behavioral apps number more than 30,000, the average behavioral practitioner does not know how to prescribe the best app for his patients. Unfamiliar with licensing laws, thousands of licensed professionals are practicing online with Skype, or find employment with companies who are blind to the traditions, values and mandates of our legal and ethical codes. Yet, many of us have seen dozens of examples of unprofessionalism online.

 

Most behavioral practitioners have never been trained to

use technology for their work. Many already work online

without legal or ethical telebehavioral health training.

Graduate schools rarely offer such education, and formal

post-graduate technology-related training programs are

just starting to gain recognition. Meanwhile, challenges

from the Internet, email, web services, cell phones,

texting, iPhone "apps," “Skype therapy” and other

technological advances are surfacing in day-to-day

practice.

 

In the midst of this rapidly changing technological world,

behavioral health is at a crossroads. How do our

professional groups bring the lessons and values of

the past into the present? How do they deal with our

rapidly evolving technologies and their impact on people

who use them? How do the regulatory boards and

professional association leaders guide their practitioners

if they themselves are technology newbies? Most

importantly, how can behavioral practitioners best use

technology to leverage their opportunities to access

greater numbers of clients/patients — and hopefully serve

them better? Professionals are looking for leadership in

the form of training, policy statements and guidelines, as

well influencing legislation and regulatory law related to

technology. Behavioral practitioners in the 21st Century

must develop telebehavioral health and other

technology-related skills.

 

As part of the AROC 2018 program agenda, there will be a great opportunity for attendees to receive hand-on instruction and guidance in a practical and interactive environment. The Workshop for Telehealth Certification will provide private practitioners, clinical directors or department managers with competency and evidence-based best practices to implement telehealth solutions within their organizations.

 

To introduce the topic in greater details, some Frequently Asked Questions are provided below, as well as some informative videos that explain some of the practices and concepts:

 

Marlene M. Maheu, Ph.D. started delivering her first telehealth service in 1994. Donned the “telepsychology visionary” by former APA President Pat DeLeon, PhD, JD, MPH, she is a consultant, researcher, author, trainer and keynoter. Dr. Maheu has addressed more than 20,000 professionals interested in legal and ethical best practices related to telehealth and various technologies. She serves as the Executive Director of the Telebehavioral Health Institute, Inc., where she oversees the development and delivery of professional training in telebehavioral health via an eLearning platform that has served behavioral clinicians from more than 55 countries. Catch her at AROC 2018 as one of the Keynote Speakers! Learn more at telehealth.org

© 2018 New Jersey Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons

The Journal is the official magazine of the New Jersey Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (NJAOPS). NJAOPS is the sixth largest state affiliate of the American Osteopathic Association. NJAOPS represents the interests of more than 4,700 active osteopathic physicians, residents, interns and medical students. Founded in 1901, NJAOPS is one of the most active medical associations in New Jersey with 12 county societies.