Mental health patients at Citizens choose virtual care via MEDITECH
Even though in-person office visits are now available, many mental health patients at Citizens Memorial have decided to stick with virtual care.
Citizens Memorial Hospital (Bolivar, MO) went LIVE with MEDITECH’s Virtual Visit software in December 2019, enabling the healthcare organization to maintain continuity of care throughout the lockdown. But now that healthcare systems are able to return to traditional office visits, CMH has found that many patients, particularly those with certain conditions, prefer to stick with virtual care.
“One of the surprises that we had was the success of virtual visits with our mental health patients; they actually continue to be about 22 percent of our total virtual visit numbers,” said Sherry Montileone, CIO at CMH. “It has proved to be a very successful strategy for them and an effective way to see those patients.”
In-person visits can be challenging for many patients due to lack of transportation, child-care issues, and work schedules. However, patients receiving mental healthcare often face additional concerns.
"They often have issues and other things that make a traditional office visit a barrier,” said Montileone. “Even just sitting in the waiting room…in a mental health clinic [is an obstacle to care]. So we're delighted that mental health visits continue to be strong.”
For more on CMH’s success with Virtual Visits, read MEDITECH VP Leah Farina’s interview with CMH CMIO Louis Harris, MD.