College health centers are a critical component of support for students in need of physical and mental health care. However, a recent article in The Washington Post raised concerns about the preparedness of college health centers to support the needs of students. This comes at a time when schools are evaluating how to best serve students in the future, and the role of college health centers cannot be understated. Regardless of how schools decide to serve students in upcoming semesters, telehealth services are a key component in the campus healthcare equation that supports and bolsters the efforts of college health centers.
Recognizing the value of college health centers
ACHA said in its support of college health centers, “This is the time to recognize the critical importance of our campus college health centers and the value that they add in student education, wellness, retention, and success.” TimelyCare supports the healthcare resources of colleges and universities to further the efforts of these institutions to care for the health and well-being of students.
Telehealth services like TimelyCare provide high-quality physical and mental health care, along with peace of mind for students and parents. Additionally, telehealth services are well-positioned to support college health centers and answer each of the Post’s five key concerns.
How telehealth answers college health center concerns
Concern: The ability of college health centers to handle an influx of patients in the event of a surge in demand for physical or mental health services.
Answer: Telehealth provides 24/7 access to care, with remote medical assessment and immediate emotional support for students in distress. It accommodates surges in patient volume and can allow health centers to handle an influx of patients by remotely accessing an expanded network of providers who may not be physically on campus.
Concern: Access to licensed, certified medical and mental health providers.
Answer: TimelyCare offers licensed, board-certified physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants, as well as licensed counselors and behavioral health specialists. All our providers are trained and experienced in working with the college student population.
Concern: Support for students on a campus that may not have a clinic or counseling center.
Answer: In most situations, TimelyCare is an extension of existing healthcare resources. However, we are also able to step into the gap when no on-campus healthcare resources exist and provide physical and mental health care that improves student health and campus wellness.
Concern: The affordability of care for low-income or uninsured students.
Answer: When schools partner with TimelyCare, students gain access to no-cost physical and mental health visits, which removes financial or insurance worries for students.
Concern: Access to care outside of regular business hours, like evenings and weekends.
Answer: Since TimelyCare’s services are 24/7, this eliminates wait times by ensuring students have access to care even if the campus clinic or counseling center is closed.
Telehealth meets the needs of higher education
While these concerns do not apply to every school or college health center situation, some of these concerns are likely heavy on the minds of many higher education leaders. With 85% of students reporting increased stress and anxiety caused primarily by uncertainty about the future of their education, mental health services are likely to be in high demand this fall. And as decisions are made about returning to campus, remaining online, or taking a hybrid approach, there are many possible roadblocks for schools, including major health and safety concerns and government regulations.
TimelyCare values its partnerships in higher education and is ready to meet the unique needs of your institution’s students. If you’d like to discuss how telehealth can improve student wellness, increase student engagement and maximize healthcare resources, contact us today.