Author: kimberly b

Rural communities helped by telehealth, but broadband internet still an issue for 1 in 5 rural households

NPR produced an interesting segment on the state of telehealth services and how they’ve helped people in rural communities. The article spotlights one woman in rural CA who needed therapy but lives in a town with only two therapists and could only get one appointment per month. Instead she visited a local clinic twice a week to connect via video call with a therapist 200 miles away. She was skeptical at first, but quickly adapted and became comfortable and grateful that this service was available to her.

The article illustrates the rapid growth of telehealth as a way to serve rural communities, however their survey shows that 1 in 5 rural households don’t have the broadband internet access available to reliably connect for telehealth calls from their home.

Survey results also indicate convenience is the leading factor for choosing telehealth services.  In many cases, it was the only option. However even when respondents had in-person services available, many chose telehealth because of the convenience. Screen Shot 2019-07-10 at 2.51.03 PM

Click here to read the article or listen to the NPR segment.

Update your Clocktree Provider Profile

Your Clocktree account has two profiles: one for your practice and one for you as a provider. There are different fields for each, and both profiles can be listed in the Clocktree Directory. Your profiles can also appear in Google and Bing search results when a potential client searches for a telehealth provider, so it’s important that the information is complete and up to date!

Screen Shot 2019-06-05 at 3.10.02 PM

Take a moment to make sure your Provider Profile is up to date with the following information:

  1. Profile Pic
  2. Provider type and introduction
  3. Specialties
  4. Education
  5. Licenses
  6. Languages

To update your profile, log in as a provider on Clocktree.com. Click your name in the upper right and select “View Profile”.  From there you can edit each section.

If you’d like to see how other providers have filled out their profiles on Clocktree, search for a provider on the Clocktree Directory for inspiration.

Please contact our Customer Care team at 302-990-8935 or support@clocktree.com if you have any questions!

Technical tips for using Clocktree

Technical tips for using Clocktree

Clocktree telehealth is web based and should work on any modern computer or mobile device with a camera. Access Clocktree via browser, no matter what device you are using.  Preferred browsers are:

  • PC (Windows): Google Chrome
  • Android tablet or phone: Google Chrome
  • Mac (Desktop or laptop): Google Chrome or Safari
  • iPhone or iPad: Safari

In many cases, Clocktree will work on other browsers such as Edge or Firefox, however we recommend Chrome or Safari for the most reliable video and audio connection.

It’s also important that both ends of the video call have sufficient internet speed. You can test your internet speed at www.speedtest.net  This gives you three speed metrics for ping, download and upload. The upload speed is the most crucial for video conferencing and it should be above 5 Mbps for a good connection.

Some tips for maximizing your internet speed are:

  1. Connect your computer to the router via ethernet cable, as opposed to WiFi, if possible.
  2. If using WiFi, position yourself as close as possible to your router.
  3. Avoid streaming content from the internet on other devices connected to your network – you share bandwidth so let your Clocktree connection use all of it!
  4. Restart your computer right before your Clocktree session and don’t open other software or apps that might use internet or processing power in the background.

And finally, make sure your camera and microphone are functional and check your lighting and background prior to a video call.  To do this, log in to your Clocktree account and select Test Audio/Video.

As always, contact our Customer Care team at 302-990-8935 or support@clocktree.com if you need any help!

Teletherapy is closing the provider gap in rural North Dakota

Teletherapy is closing the provider gap in rural North Dakota

There is a nationwide shortage of mental health services, but this shortage is even more pronounced in rural states like North Dakota. In response to the shortage, the state has boosted telemedicine as an option for mental health care.

The ND human services agency has started allowing providers who serve patients through its health centers to live in some of the state’s bigger cities — or even move out of state — and deliver mental health care to rural areas through video calls.

Expanding telemedicine has given North Dakota a way to reach more patients — and convince more psychiatrists to practice in the state. It’s helped them reach more patients in rural areas and those who can’t travel far for mental health care, including the elderly.

“We’ve definitely seen a significant impact on that recruitment and retention,” said Dr. Laura Kroetsch, of the North Dakota human services department. There are 22 psychiatrists who provide telemedicine care through the department’s eight clinics. Another three psychiatrists live out of state and provide telemedicine to those health centers. In December 2018, the department’s psychiatrists provided nearly 500 telemedicine appointments — more than 150 of which were with psychiatrists who live out of state

The state is also trying to prepare the next generation of psychiatrists to provide telemedicine to underserved areas. Once a week, psychiatry residents training at the University of North Dakota treat rural residents across the state by video chat.

Read the article “North Dakota doesn’t have enough psychiatrists. Telemedicine is helping to fix that” on Stat.com to learn more about North Dakota’s plan to expand telemedicine for mental health services.