Emergency and Consultation-Liaison Telepsychiatry

January 9, 2014

Many private practice, clinics and hospitals lack the necessary training to provide their patients mental health treatment. ER�s and doctors� offices are often times left with the task of treating mental health. Patients often times seek treatment for mental illness from these places because access to mental health providers are limited. Most doctors lack the time or training to treat mental illness. Some studies show that primary care and ER doctors often times miss diagnosing anxiety and depression. The demand for mental health care has increased so much that if primary care doctors didn�t offer it; many patients would go without it. There is currently over a third of all mental health care provided by primary care physicians, ER physicians, nurse practitioners, pediatricians and family physicians. It has been estimated that 70% of a family physicians practice consists of management of psychosocial issues. Telepsychiatry has become helped many doctors with the influx of patients that have mental illness. There are two different approaches in helping alleviate the increase in mental health patients. The first is emergency telepsychiatry and the second is consultation-liaison telepsychiatry.

Emergency Telepsychiatry

Emergency telepsychiatry delivered by videoconferencing has the potential to improve patient care in many settings. Emergency telepsychiatry has become popular among hospitals but can also be used at general practitioners or urgent care facilities. Emergency departments will use telepsychiatry as a way to avaoid the high costs associated with locum tenens physicians or staffing a regular full time psychiatrist. When a patient is seeking treatment for a certain mental illness at a primary care physician�s office, the doctor can dedicate a room where the patient can consult with the psychiatrist though video conferencing on-call or at a specified appointment time. This can free up valuable time for doctors while still generating a profit from the patient that is seen. Emergency telepsychiatry provides much needed care in rural areas by improving access to psychiatric care.

Consultation-Liaison Telepsychiatry

Consultation-Liaison Telepsychiatry helps doctors, NP�s and other facilities by psychiatrists providing psychiatric consultations with doctors about specific patients and medication management if needed. Telehealth innovations like videoconferencing, telephone, secure messaging (e-mail), and the Internet are increasingly being used to provide consultation--liaison service to primary care providers. The psychiatrist can discuss with the provider the patient�s condition and provide diagnosis, treatment plan and medication management. This will greatly reduce the risk of misdiagnosis. There are more and more physicians utilizing this manner of telepsychiatry and it will soon be a must have for most practices.

e-Psychiatry has become a leader in providing telepsychiatry programs for ER�s, physicians, NP�s, urgent care clinics and other providers. If you would like to start a telepsychiatry program at your practice/facility or would just like more information about the services above; you can go to Emergency Telepsychiatry to learn more or you can email us at support@e-psychiatry.com. Let your patients receive the best possible mental health care they can get through telepsychiatry!