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Diversity and Inclusion in Telehealth

Telemedicine is a rapidly-expanding area, representing the future of medicine in the United States and across the world.  In addition to technical advancements, however, the future of medicine depends on an evolving appreciation of social issues inside and outside our country, across all areas of life.  At Orbit Health, we strive to be at the forefront of the healthcare industry in more than just technology.  We vet our providers and provide training on a variety of topics to ensure that they are not only qualified in their specialized fields, but that they are also appreciative of issues pertaining to diversity, inclusion, and other social matters.  We work to ensure that our clients and their patients receive only the best care from professionals who work to understand and overcome socio-cultural issues that arise in the practice of medicine.

Ethnic & Cultural Competency

Effective patient engagement is one of the key factors of quality health care.  Patients need to be understood on a personal level, beyond abstract diagnoses.  Cultural competence concerns the ability of healthcare providers to effectively deliver healthcare services tailored to the social, cultural, and linguistic needs of patients.  Culturally competent health care providers can provide superior health care to patients and reduce racial and ethnic disparities in medicinal practice.  Orbit Health provides training for providers and ensures that clients and patients are matched with providers possessing the relevant cultural and ethnic competence to limit the problems created by cultural disparities.

Cultural Factors that Affect a Virtual Visit

The professionals that work with Orbit Health are trained to address the cultural issues that can arise in the provision of health care, especially issues that specifically pertain to the practice of telemedicine.  Patients who receive medical care, especially psychological care, are more open to treatment when they are comfortable with their provider.  Telepsychiatry allows health care providers from around the country to connect with mental health care specialists from a variety of cultural backgrounds, ensuring that patients feel at ease with their doctor, in terms of shared cultural understanding, reduction of language barriers, and other factors.

How Language Differences Affect Telehealth

Any health care practitioner knows that language can present one of the most difficult barriers to effective treatment.  Whether dealing with physical ailments or mental health conditions, getting accurate, detailed information and impressions from patients is key to proper diagnosis and treatment.  Linguistic issues are even more pronounced in the mental health arena, where the issues faced by patients are entirely internal.  Those problems can be exacerbated when a patient is treated remotely, due to the limitations of video interactions.

Orbit Health, however, works with an abundance of licensed mental health specialists fluent in a wide range of languages.  Chances are, if your patient speaks a language other than English, Orbit Health has a practitioner ready and able to converse.  Eliminating linguistic barriers and mitigating the need for translators and other intermediary services can significantly reduce patient discomfort with therapeutic processes and lead to more effective patient care.

Social Sensitivity and Identity Topics

Telemedicine presents an ideal platform for patients to discuss otherwise sensitive topics.  Rather than feeling disconnected from providers, patients who utilize telepsychiatry often feel more open to discuss sensitive topics and issues that bring up feelings of victimization or embarrassment.  Research has shown that patients are often uncomfortable discussing certain topics face-to-face with doctors, even where their health depends on it, but feel more comfortable doing so when separated by a phone or a computer.

Additionally, as discussed above, telemedicine provides a unique level of access for patients to converse with professionals who can identify with their own cultural and ethnic background, or at least someone who is not perceived as a member of the socio-economically dominant class and would be unable to understand the impact of such concerns.  Orbit Health ensures both that we work with a range of diverse mental health specialists and that our providers are trained to work with patients dealing with issues that arise from socially sensitive concerns.

ADA Considerations

In-person medical care presents special challenges for people with disabilities, especially for patients who live far from health care providers or from specialists trained in the kind of care that they actually need.  The practice of telepsychiatry allows employers and health care providers to bring mental health services to disabled individuals without regard to location or physical limitations.  Telepsychiatry also allows for practitioners with disabilities to provide services for patients around the country, overcoming barriers that would otherwise be present.  Orbit Health strives to meet and exceed any ADA regulations and provide disabled parties with unrivaled access to superb mental health care.

Whether you are a healthcare provider, an employer, a correctional facility, a litigant in a case involving mental health issues, or any other organization that would benefit from easy access to psychiatric professionals, Orbit Health is here to help.  We pride ourselves on being at the cutting edge of medicine in both technology and socio-cultural awareness.  Contact Orbit Health to access a variety of dedicated, licensed, and understanding psychiatric care specialists, brought to your location without the cost or hassle of travel.  Call Orbit Health to discuss your options for telepsychiatry today.

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