CASE STUDY – HOW ONE ORGANIZATION EXPANDED ACCESS TO TELEHEALTH SERVICES FOR MENTAL HEALTH USING OHMD
A virtual care center provides access to telehealth services for mental health helping clients with culturally competent therapists using texting and video visits
Ayana Therapy was founded in 2018 by CEO Eric Coly, from Senegal, who found his BIPOC and immigrant friends were struggling to find access to telehealth services for mental health and therapists who could empathize with them fully given their cultural backgrounds. Coly set out to create an app which individually matches clients across the U.S. with licensed therapists based on their lived experience and mental health needs. By operating 100% virtually, Ayana Therapy has expanded marginalized and intersectional communities’ access to quality personalized mental health care.
In January 2021, Ayana began using OhMD to text, gather forms, and provide access to telehealth services for mental health engaging in video visits with clients. They turned to OhMD because the video and messaging tools they were using before weren’t reliable. Clients were dropping off in search of something they could count on. “Most of our clients have given us feedback within a day of using OhMD just to say how much they like the new platform and how much easier it is to use,” says Erin Little, Head of Product & Operations. “A lot of the clients who left Ayana because of technical issues before are now coming back because they know this is a system they can trust”.
“That’s really what seals the deal: HIPAA compliant texting and video all in one place.”– Palak Vani, Operations Associate
Palak Vani, Operations Associate and the main support contact for Ayana clients, says client complaints have tapered off since they began using OhMD to give access to telehealth services for mental health. “Just to put this in context, we were getting up to 10 to 15 of these emails a day previously. So OhMD was a massive improvement on the customer service side,” adds Little.
“One of the biggest perks of OhMD is definitely the security and stability of the platform,” says Little. Not only has OhMD improved stability for Ayana, but it brings the necessary communication tools on both the therapist and client’s end into one intuitive place. OhMD allows clients to do everything through HIPAA compliant SMS texting, instead of through an app or email like before. “The texting component, we want it to be seamless, and that’s what OhMD was able to do for us,” says Little. Vani says the combination of HIPAA compliant texting and video visit access to telehealth services for mental health is what makes OhMD a good match for the professionals they work with and their clientele. “That’s really what seals the deal: HIPAA compliant texting and video all in one place,” she says.
Ayana therapists are able to conduct more video visits per day now that they can send clients video links by text instead of through email or an app. In a 30 day span from March to April 2021, Ayana therapists logged a collective 302 hours of video sessions with their clients using OhMD. “It speaks to the ease of the OhMD platform,” says Vani. Ayana has also seen an overall higher rate of appointment scheduling and fewer no-shows since they started using OhMD. More clients are now completing their subscriptions and more are booking video sessions because it’s easy for them to tap the link from their texts to get connected.
Ayana has rapidly grown to over 200 therapists, in part, because they have been able to get new therapists up and running quickly on OhMD. Vani, who is in charge of training new therapists on communication technology, says, “OhMD is the easiest part of everything because it’s all encompassing. I would say even for the therapists that technology isn’t their strong suit, it’s really intuitive. And it’s accessible on their computers or their laptops, which they really like, too”.
Little says the biggest change at Ayana since implementing OhMD to provide access to telehealth services for mental health, in addition to better reliability for clients, has, ironically, been improved mental health for Ayana employees. “For me, using OhMD has just been pure anxiety lifted. Within two weeks of implementing everything, as a team it was very manageable to know, ‘Okay, there’s not going to be a major drama today’.”