Telemedicine is the process of providing health care from a distance through technology, often using videoconferencing. Telepsychiatry or Virtual Psychiatry, a subset of telemedicine, involves providing a range of services including psychiatric evaluations, therapy (individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy), patient education and medication management.
At Advanced Psychiatric Associates we have not only being involved providing direct interaction between our team of psychiatrists with our patients but also supporting primary care providers with mental health care consultation, advice and expertise.
During this crucial time, Telepsychiatry has became an indispensable tool to continue providing our services to our patients. We have invested in our technology platform to be able to meet our patient’s needs and continue our commitment to provide the best possible care.
We have also learned that there are several benefits to Telepsychiatry that have been untapped during the past few months:
- Improved access to mental health specialists care that might not otherwise be available.
- Bring care to the patient’s location.
- Help integrate behavioral health care and primary care, leading to better outcomes.
- Reduce the need for trips to the emergency room.
- Reduce delays in care.
- Improve continuity of care and follow-up.
- Reduce the need for time off work, childcare services, etc. to access appointments far away
- Reduce potential transportation barriers, such as lack of transportation or the need for long drives
- Reduce the barrier of stigma
In our own experience there is substantial evidence of the effectiveness of telepsychiatry and we have also found the satisfaction to be high among our patients, psychiatrists and other member of our team.
Telepsychiatry is equivalent to in-person care in diagnostic accuracy, treatment effectiveness, quality of care and patient satisfaction. Patient privacy and confidentiality are equivalent to in-person care.
Some patients such as children and adolescents have demonstrated to respond even better to Telemedicine than to in person sessions. There are other people for which telemedicine may be preferable to in-person care, for example people with autism or severe anxiety disorders and patients with physical limitations may find the remote treatment particularly useful.
Currently, 43 states and the District of Columbia have laws that govern private payer reimbursement for telehealth
To book a Telepsychiatry appointment click here