Telepsychiatry is a branch of telemedicine. Telemedicine uses technology, which is typically video-based, to provide a range of healthcare services to patients.
Telepsychiatry is a process that uses a telecommunications device to provide psychiatric services to people who are separated from a psychiatrist by a distance and those who feel more comfortable at home. Telepsychiatry may offer several benefits, including convenience and better accessibility. Telepsychiatry works similarly to traditional in-person appointments.
According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), telepsychiatry can include the following services:
- Psychiatric evaluations and diagnoses
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- Patient education
- Medication management
Benefits of Telepsychiatry:
According to the APA, there is strong evidence to suggest that telepsychiatry can lead to improved outcomes and high patient satisfaction ratings.
They also state that telepsychiatry is equivalent to in-person care in terms of:
- The accuracy of diagnosis
- The effectiveness of treatment
- The quality of care
- Client privacy and confidentiality
A significant advantage of telepsychiatry is that it can provide a practical and effective alternative to in-person psychiatric services. It is suitable for people of all ages, including children, adolescents, and adults. For some people, such as autistic individuals and those with severe anxiety disorders, telepsychiatry may be preferable to face-to-face treatment.
It may also result in a reduction in the need to take time off of work or school.
According to a 2016 review, both patients and providers report high satisfaction levels with telepsychiatry. The report states that parents and caregivers looking for psychiatric services for their children seem particularly satisfied. The same report states that telepsychiatry appears to be more effective than the usual care.
Some people may also feel more willing to open up from the comfort of their own homes.
Process of Telepsychiatry:
Patients should check with their insurance provider before scheduling a telepsychiatry session. The clinic, doctor, or patient may set up the initial telepsychiatry appointment by contacting the psychiatrist who provides the service. Once they have an appointment time, the patient can log in to the appropriate video conferencing platform and wait for the psychiatrist to come online.
Alternatively, they may await a telephone call. Both in-person and telepsychiatry appointments adhere to the same guidelines and typically follow the same format. The psychiatrist and their client will discuss the relevant issues and goals.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) on Telepsychiatry
1. What is Telepsychiatry?
Telepsychiatry is offering psychiatric services through technology, such as video conferencing. It allows for the patient and provider to communicate without being in the same space.
2. Is Telepsychiatry HIPPA compliant?
Advances in technology and in the psychiatric field have ensured that video conferencing with patients is done securely, ensuring that we can provide our patients with the same level of confidentiality and comfort as we would in the office.
3. What are the benefits of telepsychiatry?
Video-based telepsychiatry helps meet patients’ needs for convenient, affordable, and readily accessible mental health services. It can benefit patients in a number of ways, such as:
- Improve access to mental health specialty care that might not otherwise be available (e.g., in rural areas)
- 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
4. Does Compassionate Psychiatric Services offer Telepsychiatry?
Yes! We offer telepsychiatry appointments for medication management, as well as, for mental health therapy.
5. Do I need any special technology for a telepsych appointment?
No. Telepsych appointments can be done on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.
6. How can I make a telepsychiatry appointment?
Call our office at 469-200-4093 or visit our website at compassionatepsychiatry.org.