Technology Considerations

First of all, you will need to make sure the families you are serving can access internet services that support video streaming without major delays or disruptions.

Internet Access Resources

The sites below can assist a Chapter or CAC in assessing high-speed internet access in their area.

  • FCC National Broadband Map This map displays where Internet services are available across the United States, as reported by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to the FCC. ISPs offering broadband Internet to fixed locations (such as homes and small businesses) must report where they offer service on a location-by-location basis – the same location points you see on the map. This map allows users to see if they have broadband access at their location.
  • FCC Connect2Health: Mapping Broadband Health in AmericaThis novel, interactive mapping platform created by the Connect2HealthFCC Task Force has undergone various updates and expansions and remains a critical resource for users to visualize, intersect and analyze broadband and health data at the national, state and county levels, providing compelling insights on opportunities and gaps in the connected health space. By using the mapping platform as a foundation for understanding the intersection of broadband and health, policymakers and other stakeholders can chart a concrete path to a more connected and healthier future for all Americans.

The sites below provide resources for accessing high-speed internet:

Additionally, the following should be in place to provide telemental health services that prioritize the privacy, security, and well-being of clients:

  • HIPAA-Compliant Platforms: Choose teleconferencing software that complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to ensure the confidentiality of client information. For more information, see Technology > Platforms.
  • Secure Communication Channels: Use encrypted communication channels (e.g., end-to-end encryption) to protect the privacy of client data transmitted during sessions.
  • Access Control Measures: Implement access control measures to restrict unauthorized access to telemental health platforms and client information. This includes strong password policies, multi-factor authentication, and session timeouts.
  • Firewall and Antivirus Protection: Maintain robust firewall and antivirus protection on all devices used for telemental health sessions to prevent security breaches and malware infections.
  • Data Storage and Backup: Ensure that client data is stored securely in compliance with relevant regulations. Implement regular data backups to prevent data loss due to technical issues or cyberattacks.
  • Technical Support: Provide clients with access to technical support resources to troubleshoot any issues they may encounter during telemental health sessions.
  • Device Security: Encourage clients to use secure devices (e.g., password-protected computers, updated software) and secure internet connections to minimize the risk of unauthorized access or data breaches.
  • Training and Education: Educate both mental health professionals and clients on best practices for using telemental health technology securely and effectively. This includes training on platform features, privacy settings, and emergency protocols. For more information, see Clinical Services > Training.
  • Consent and Documentation: Obtain informed consent from clients regarding the use of technology for mental health services and document this consent in their records. Clearly outline the risks, benefits, and limitations of telemental health services.
  • Continual Evaluation and Improvement: Regularly assess the effectiveness of the technology used for telemental health services and make necessary updates or improvements to address evolving security threats and technological advancements.

Informed Consent Resource

This Telehealth Informed Consent Checklist from TheraNest provides a list of things to consider when creating an informed consent document for clients. For sample informed consent forms, see the Sample TMH Program Documents page.

Page Last Updated: June 2024

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