During the initial peak period of COVID-19 in Washington state, the Harborview Behavioral Health Institute (BHI) surveyed community behavioral health providers to better understand the transition to telehealth-based care. Survey respondents represented 204 organizations/practices (239 responses) from all regions of the state, including Indian Health Service providers.
The results of the study document high utilization of some form of telehealth (e.g., video, telephone) after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, compared with very little utilization before. Several barriers (e.g., limited access to broadband, computer, cell phone) are reported, as well as telehealth support that providers received (e.g., Zoom licenses, training, financial support). The report notes that the vast majority of community behavioral health providers across the state have pivoted to telehealth-based care.
Recommendations call for ongoing, systematic support for providers to address and resolve barriers, tackle urgent needs, normalize and capitalize on new workflows, and sustain observed improvements.
You can read the full report online and learn more about the BHI telehealth work and training/technical assistance resources through the Behavioral Health Training, Workforce and Policy Innovation Center.