Almost every one of us is aware about physical health and its importance. But only few of us are aware about mental health. Our society generally doesn’t talk or avoid talking about mental health but now it’s high time to take mental health seriously and talk about it. In this article we will be discussing about mental health and the emergence of telepsychiatry to deal with mental health.
Our physical, psychological and social stability requires mental health. It has an effect on how we think, sound and act. At every stage of a person’s life cycle mental health is important, from infancy, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. Mental wellbeing may have an impact on our everyday life, relationships and physical health. We can also say that a good mental health is directly related to good physical health.
Why is mental health important?
After reading about mental health and its issues, it is important for you to understand why a person needs to take care of mental wellbeing. Mental health is important because it is a vital part of your life and affects your thoughts, your behaviors and your emotions. Being safe emotionally can encourage efficiency and effectiveness in work, school or caregiving activities. It plays a significant part in the health of your relationships, and helps you to adapt and cope with challenges to changes in your life. That’s why many people are taking the help of psychiatrists and telepsychiatrists.
What is Telepsychiatry?
Telemedicine is an advanced technical process to providing healthcare from a distance, often using video conferencing.
Telepsychiatry is a sort of telemedicine in psychiatry mental health. This term generally describes the delivery of psychiatric assessment and care through telecommunications technology, such as video conferencing.
This practice known as Telepsychiatry can include direct one-to-one interaction between a patient and psychiatrist. It also has psychiatrists supporting primary healthcare providers with mental healthcare consultation and specialization. Mental health care can be delivered in live, interactive communication. It can also involve recording medical information (images, videos, etc.) and sending this to a distant site for later review.
Telepsychiatry — is one of the most promising techniques to provide more patient-centred, effective & affordable interventions for people who need psychiatric care.
Telepsychiatry for mental health
Telepsychiatry for mental health has brought mental health care to rural areas and underserved communities where there is scarcity of trained professionals.
Research indicates that telemedicine is an effective and cost efficient option that increases client access to providers.
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
Research supports the use of telepsychiatry in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. Studies also indicate that it is effective and acceptable in the treatment of depression.
Telepsychiatry is also an effective method in the treatment of:
- Eating Disorders
- Substance Abuse
How does it work, and where can a person use it?
Telepsychiatry works similarly to traditional in-person appointments.
A person will need to contact a local health clinic or a doctor. They will then receive a referral to a psychiatrist.
The clinic, doctor, or client may set up the initial telepsychiatry appointment by contacting the psychiatrist who provides the service.
Once they have an appointment time, the client can log in to the appropriate video conferencing platform and wait for the psychiatrist to come online. Alternatively, they may await a telephone call.
Clients should ensure that they have all relevant records and information, including details of prescriptions, to hand. They should also make a list of questions or concerns to address.
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.
The psychiatrist can:
- Create and implement treatment plans
- Prescribe medication
- Schedule follow-up appointments
- Refer the client to other services
Telepsychiatric services are available in many:
- Mental Health Centers
- Nursing Homes
- Primary Care Centers
- Residential Treatment Facilities
Video-based telemedicine psychiatry assists patients’ requirement for suitable, affordable & simply- approachable mental healthcare services. There are a number of benefits of telepsychiatry, we may see in such manner-
- Telepsychiatry made it easy to access healthcare in rural areas.
- Made possible to bring care to location of the patient.
- Help integrate behavioral health care and primary care, leading to better outcomes.
- Now there are no more visits to the emergency room.
- It has reduced delays in patients’ care.
- Reduce the barrier of stigma.
- Improve regular care and follow-up without a single visit to the patient’s location.
- Reduce the requirement time off work, childcare, etc. to access appointments far away.
- Decreased transportation barriers, such as lack of transportation (Especially in Rural Areas) or long drives.
Read Also: The Complete Guide Of Telemedicine
Benefits of Telepsychiatry for Patients
Telepsychiatry provides both patients and health-care providers an attractive mix of benefits. Telemedicine continues to grow as the healthcare community experiences its many advantages, from an unparalleled level of convenience to superb cost savings.
Some other benefits of Telepsychiatry include:
- Lower costs:Some research shows that people who use telemedicine spend less time in the hospital, thus saving on costs. Less commuting time can also result in fewer secondary expenses, such as childcare and gas.
- No transportation time or costs: You can save money on gas, parking and public transportation by seeing your doctor on your mobile device or computer. Much better, you don’t waste time driving or run the risk of running into a traffic jam that makes you late for your meeting, or worse, late to return to work.
- In particular in rural areas, patients enjoy better healthcare outcomes. Academic medical centers have described telepsychiatry as an innovative way to enhance care for rural communities. Additionally, telemedicine has produced significant results among the following underserved populations:
- Populations associated with increased infant mortality
- Individuals with limited mobility
- Older adults
- People living in areas with high rates of poverty
- Telemedicine improves quality of care delivery: Telemedicine may increase the standard of treatment for both medically and mentally ill patients. One recent research found that patients with telemedicine had:
- 38% fewer hospital admissions
- 31% fewer hospital re-admissions
- 63% more likely to spend less time in hospital
- Were more engaged in their healthcare
Different Sub-Specialties of Telepsychiatry
Telepsychiatry includes a variety of sub-specialties based on different contexts of service delivery.
In Home-Based Telepsychiatry, psychiatry meets the patient through the video conferencing. To make that possible you just need to webcam and high-speed internet. One important thing needs to know that home-based telepsychiatry served the services under the HIPAA compliant online platform to provide safe and secure care and to avoid the risk of violating the patient-provider relationship, issues of security and possible HIPAA violations.
In Forensic Telepsychiatry, a remote psychiatrist provide the care to a patient who is in a prison or correctional facility, including medication consultation, psychiatric assessment, pre-parole evaluations, suicide watch and more.
Telepsychiatry can deliver significant cost savings to correctional facilities by eliminating the need for prisoners to be escorted to off-site appointments and psychiatric interventions.
On-Demand Telepsychiatry (Emergency Telepsychiatry)
On-Demand Telepsychiatry was developed as of 2008 guidelines for emergency psychiatric patients, such as the evaluation of homicidal, suicidal, psychotic, violent, manic, depressed, and acutely anxious patients.
Emergency Telepsychiatry services are already being offered to the emergency departments of hospitals, community mental healthcare centres, prisons and schools. Emergency telepsychiatry can reduce various conditions such as ease staff shortages in overworked hospital emergency departments and increase patient throughput and ED disposition.
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In Scheduled Telepsychiatry, consistent mental healthcare providers serve a regular caseload of consumers in previously scheduled time.
Remote mental care providers can consult to the medication management, team meetings, supervision, or to provide traditional psychiatric assessment and consultations.
Apart from that, Having access to remote providers allows facilities, especially in rural areas that face struggling to recruit and manage providers, access to a greater variety of speciality care to offer their consumers.
Facilities That Use Routine Telepsychiatry Include:
Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) Outpatient clinics Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) Universities and Schools Residential Programs Nursing Homes Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) Substance Use Treatment Centers Military Bases
HIPAA Compliance in the United States
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a US federal law that watches the security & privacy standards for telemedicine, electronic medical information exchange such as telemental healthcare services.
In order to execute with HIPAA guidelines, many healthcare providers build their own specialized videoconferencing services, since common third-party consumer solutions do not include sufficient security and privacy safeguards. There are also a growing number of advanced HIPAA-compliant technologies available for telepsychiatry.
Read Also: HIPAA Compliant Guidelines on Telemedicine
Privacy and Telemedicine
Privacy is the main concern using online facilities. Fear of noncompliance with HIPAA and other terms and regulations has dissuaded many telemedicine agencies from adopting the telehealth services.
Most modern offices have the infrastructure they need already, and with assistance from a HIPAA-compliant service provider such as Iris Telehealth, getting up and running with the right equipment — and integrating with your existing EHR system — is fast and easy.
Telemedicine app development has begun to change the healthcare industry landscape and has shown that our healthcare system is in dire need of innovative solutions.
The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the landscape of the healthcare industry upside down. Telemedicine software development is now the primary goal of healthcare companies wishing to provide healthcare services to patients from a distance.
VCDoctor is a HIPAA-compliant telemedicine application which is designed to erase time and distance barriers, where you can get treatment from best psychiatrist help from your home at cheaper and more timely treatment. As a service provider and consultant, we provide end-to – end technology solutions and work hard to implement various facets of the highly complex and critical healthcare sector.