Better set of diagnostic tools would ease provider shortage, CEO says

Provider shortages in healthcare have been widely reported, and the problem appears particularly acute in behavioral health — but part of the problem can be blamed on inadequate diagnostic tools, one executive says.

Frank Johnson, CEO of Reston, Va.-based QLER Telepsychiatry, spoke with Becker's about issues in behavioral health that aren't being talked about.

Note: Response has been edited lightly for clarity and brevity.

Question: What's a headwind or obstacle you're seeing that people aren't talking about?

Frank Johnson: Mental health care is still a one-on-one process in which nearly all care data is captured, and care provided in the moment based on human interaction. There are very few commonly accepted and funded supporting diagnostic tools for the mental health providers to produce objective, medical, decision-making data that optimizes, economizes, or even accelerates mental health care. 

We believe there are emerging and safe diagnostic tools which can be built into an agile and technically savvy care model. If we can get industry acceptance, improve patient familiarity, and gain financial support of these diagnostic tools, they can be innovated into the care process to create more care for more people with our current set of human resources.

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