We’re glad you asked.
If you’re located in a rural area and your hospital struggles to provide care for individuals with mental illness, consider using telepsychiatry to help. It’s an easy way to provide quality care for your patients and improve overall healthcare in your area.
Often, medical and psychiatric illness are intertwined. It’s important to provide holistic care for your patients – having an individual’s behavioral health needs addressed while in the hospital for any other services is essential to ensuring that their care is the best it can be. More comprehensive treatment and the establishment of proper follow-up care after discharge is what makes a good practice a great one. By doing this, your hospital can appropriately care for more complex co-morbid medical and psychiatric presentations. This allows you to treat cases such as delirium, overdoses, dementia and substance abuse/detoxification.
The benefits of having access to psychiatry services are clear. Your system will improve care and medical outcomes for your patients and increase access to psychiatric specialty consultation. Inpatient services also foster efficiency, allowing you to increase appropriate admissions and decrease the need for hospital transfers. It also leads to a significantly decreased length of stay in the emergency room and helps prevent individuals with psychiatric problems from “boarding” in the ER. Instead of sending your patients elsewhere for follow-up psychiatric care, you can treat them where they are by implementing inpatient telepsychiatry. This also leads to the ability to establish appropriate mental health follow-up after discharging the patient.
Whether in the emergency room or an inpatient unit, many clinicians can respond to telepsychiatry consult requests in less than an hour. Because of this, patients can receive timely assessment, treatment and disposition, and you can bring quality care to the people in your area.
In cases where the demand is high and the supply is little, telepsychiatry just might be the answer!