DALLAS — To meet the changing needs of patients and increase accessibility to ensure lasting recovery, Enterhealth, a premier drug and alcohol treatment center, is pleased to announce it now offers telehealth, which includes telemedicine and teletherapy. The Dallas-based center has a local residential facility, Enterhealth Ranch, located at 524 Lincoln Park Road in Van Alstyne.

The technology is a modern form of health care delivery which breaks away from traditional models by using telecommunication systems and wireless communication methods such as tablets and smartphones to connect patients with therapists or doctors. The patient connects with the Enterhealth team for assessments, therapy, medication management and other treatment using a specialized, secure, high-definition video connection on a computer, tablet or other mobile device.

Enterhealth utilizes a purpose-built platform called Zoom which is HIPAA compliant. Telehealth adds an extra level of convenience for patients, allowing them to have their doctor appointments over the internet rather than drive to Enterhealth for their continued addiction recovery treatment. Telehealth is only used at the discretion of the doctor, and patients must complete a drug test at a local lab within 48 hours of a request from Enterhealth. In addition, periodic in-person sessions may be necessary.

“Addiction is not a 9-to-5 issue, and we want to provide the highest quality care to ensure that patients sustain sobriety,” said David M. Kniffen Jr., president and CEO of Enterhealth. “We want to be as accessible as possible to our patients, and telehealth is another tool we can use to help. As part of our continuum of care, we currently use the technology at the Enterhealth Ranch residential treatment facility (in Van Alstyne) to introduce patients to doctors and therapists at our outpatient center in Dallas before they transition to outpatient care. We can also use the technology for regular sessions, group therapy or for patients on vacation or a business trip. Telehealth adds to our flexibility and allows us to accommodate our patients’ busy schedules which may at times impact compliance with ongoing treatment programs. We are thrilled to offer telehealth, but it does not replace the comprehensive and holistic treatment programs at both our residential facility and our outpatient center. Telehealth complements what we offer, and we determine which mode and method of treatment is best for each individual patient.”

Since its recent launch, the Enterhealth team has seen how telehealth breaks down barriers for patients. Each session can be conducted from the privacy of the patient’s own home, office or even a car. Patients do not need to interact with office staff, other waiting patients or anyone other than their physician. The technology allows patients to keep all of their appointments on a flexible schedule that fits in with other obligations and priorities. It also reduces the overall cost for patients by eliminating the expenses and time it takes for transportation, gas and parking. In addition, patients don’t have to worry about childcare or take time off of work, both of which can act as barriers to getting care.

“We understand that there is traffic, and it’s not easy to leave work,” Kniffen said. “We are offering this treatment because we want to make it easier to receive treatment. Patients who have used this technology so far have been impressed. Those who thought it would be challenging because they’re not technologically savvy found it simple and effective. It saved them time, but it didn’t compromise the level of care. We are excited to see how this new technology helps us positively impact the lives of even more people in need of addiction treatment.”