HOW TELEPSYCH CAN WORK EVEN IF YOU USE PAPER RECORDS:
You’ve heard about this cool, new thing called telepsychiatry and you’d love to give it a shot, but there is one thing standing in your way… You still use paper records.
Here’s the thing: You’re not alone! According to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMMS), 6 percent of hospitals still use paper records. With many hospitals struggling to just break even, just thinking about the cost of an electronic health record (EHR) is enough reason to avoid implementation.
So, we get it. EHRs, while convenient, cost money…and a lot of it. Plus, they require a lot of time between transitioning records over and training staff. It can be hard to start new things when your current systems are already working just fine, thank you very much!
Did you know that paper records and telemedicine aren’t mutually exclusive?
The truth is, with the right tools and know-how, the two can work together seamlessly. Who would’ve thought?
How can you be sure we’re not making this up? Why should you trust us?
We’re a telepsychiatry provider organization made up of the highest quality psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners in the business and we partner with numerous hospitals and clinics throughout the nation to connect their patients to excellent providers.
Telepsychiatry is an innovative practice in healthcare where psychiatric providers use technology, or telemedicine, to deliver psychiatric care to patients, typically via videoconferencing. It improves patient access to standard psychiatric services, like psychiatric assessment and medication management.
Telepsychiatry equips health systems across the nation with the tools to provide high quality, accessible and affordable mental healthcare to their patients. We have an ever-increasing demand for mental healthcare in the United States, which is directly affected by our national shortage of psychiatric providers. Telemedicine is a solution that is transforming the way care is delivered. It’s allowing hospitals and health clinics in rural and underserved areas to recruit excellent providers and improve patient care while reducing or maintaining costs.
We actively work with health systems that still use paper records rather than electronic health records. And, surprisingly enough, it works! Let us give you the low-down.
Integrating Paper Records and Telepsychiatry
Our company’s founding mission is that rural and underserved communities deserve the same access to mental health care as the rest of the country. Many telemedicine organizations allow paper records to be a barrier of entry by refusing to find a way to integrate with health systems that still use them. We found a way — because we fundamentally believe that something as common as paper records shouldn’t stop people from receiving the care they deserve.
We work with a handful of health systems that still use paper records for their EHR, and through a trial-and-error process, we learned what works and what doesn’t.
From our partners’ collective experiences, we’ve found the solution to integrating an off-site doctor into your health system, while also having them use paper records, is actually pretty simple.
Typically, we digitize all necessary forms so our psychiatrists can complete them in an approved, automated fashion mirroring a traditional EHR. They will sign and fax the forms to the system so they can be printed and placed in the nurse’s chart. Any other paper forms for patient evaluations, follow ups, and billing codes can also be integrated into our system and completed by our doctors.
Our partners have found that this system may take time to get used to, but is the most efficient workflow to ensure paperwork is properly documented – and trust us, we’ve tried a lot!
Integrating Paper Records and Telepsychiatry
It’s crucial to have the full support and buy-in of your on-site staff for the success of any telepsychiatry program. But this is particularly important when it comes to integrating a psychiatrist into a system that utilizes paper records because it requires clear communication among all staff members, including those off-site.
Our partners have found that a few simple steps make the process of getting your staff on board much easier — and it all comes down to making them feel valued. Buy-in is easier to foster when your people feel personally involved. Below are a few of the ways we encourage our partners, and you, to train on-site staff to ensure integration is seamless:
1. Develop a clear workflow
This seems simple, but it’s easily one of the most important components. Without a clear workflow that everyone can understand, chaos can, and will, ensue. In one of our largest hospital system partners, they have flyers hanging up at the nurses’ stations with a detailed workflow for telepsychiatry consults – starting with how to schedule one and outlining each step thereafter. This way, it stays top-of-mind and is readily accessible to anyone who forgets a step in the process.
2. Host several staff training workshops
Our partners have found that hosting not just one, but a handful of staff training workshops before, during, and after implementation makes a huge difference in the initial success of their telepsychiatry program. This not only keeps your existing staff on their toes but also allows for new staff to be trained.
3. Have your provider start on-site
Not all of our providers start on-site. However, our partners have found that when there are a lot of moving parts (like implementing a workflow with paper records and telepsychiatry), it makes everyone feel more comfortable and confident in using the telepsych service. Since your staff will be assisting the telepsychiatrist with documentation, an on-site start helps foster a good working relationship with your telepsychiatrist.
4. Continue to ask for feedback from your staff
Telepsychiatry is a great solution to expanding your existing care team and psychiatric services — but it’s still an adjustment for your staff. It’s important to make your team feel valued during times of change so they know you recognize that adjustments aren’t always easy. Our partners make sure their nurses and other on-site staff know our door is always open for constructive feedback when it comes to improving the workflow and growing our telepsychiatry partnership.
IS TELEPSYCHIATRY RIGHT FOR YOU AS A PROVIDER?
When it comes to telepsychiatry, I’ve seen it all. I know telepsychiatry is a mutually beneficial innovation: it allows psychiatric providers to work from the comfort of their own home and health systems to find the best psychiatric providers for their patients
You might be wondering who I am…my name is Marcella Nichols, and I’ve been the Recruiting Coordinator for Iris Telehealth for almost a year now. I have an M.S. in Clinical Psychology and this, combined with my professional certification in human resources, gives me a unique advantage, as I interact with the psychiatrists and psychiatric advanced practice nurse practitioners who apply to work with us.
Because I interact with psychiatric providers on a daily basis, I thought I could provide some insight into what our telepsychiatry positions entail and answer some frequently asked questions. I wanted to share why I’m passionate about telepsychiatry, and why Iris Telehealth has earned a reputation as one of the best companies to work with/be apart of.
On a personal note, I volunteered to write a blog post because I enjoy writing and as a Yelp Elite, I thoroughly enjoy sharing all the details of an awesome business. Some may consider this a 5-star review…and they’re not wrong!
Why Telepsychiatry Is The Perfect Opportunity For You
Telepsychiatry provides a different type of work environment for psychiatric providers. Picture this: you start your day in your own home office, in a space that feels and looks professional. A space that is well-lit, and free of distractions. You sign in to your telepsychiatry interface, and you’re off to work. No time wasted commuting to a clinic or hospital in your car, the subway, or the bus. Technology allows you to start your day by simply walking into your home office, which is one of the biggest perks. Commuting = time…time away from your family and time away from your patients. If you’re someone who hates to commute, telepsychiatry may be for you!
At Iris Telehealth, the majority of our partners are outpatient clinics in a community mental health setting. Telepsychiatry gives these clinics access to providers they might not otherwise be able to hire since it’s difficult enough to recruit psychiatric prescribers due to provider shortages, let alone when located in a rural area! It allows for some of the most underserved and disenfranchised communities to receive amazing psychiatric care and services. Something we don’t talk about enough is how incredibly rewarding it is for you, the provider, to have the ability to serve these patients – the patients you are so passionate about helping. Hence, telepsychiatry is a phenomenal solution. For us, there is nothing more rewarding than building lasting relationships with our partners and our providers. We strive to provide you with the security and stability of a long term placement by matching you with the best partner for your availability, skills and experience, and clinical preferences.
How To Do Telepsych (Even If You’re Not A Techie)
Don’t worry if you’re not a technology expert, telepsychiatry is actually simple to use. If you can use a computer, and have a solid Internet connection, you can do telepsychiatry! We also provide 24/7 technical support, so you have experts at hand if there’s ever an issue. As a Recruiting Coordinator, I’ve experienced my own IT hiccups along the way. My problems were solved almost instantly by our amazing IT specialists. For example, when my RingCentral line was not allowing me to make outgoing calls, our tech team was able to sort out the update quickly, so I didn’t miss an opportunity to make a reference call (and as a result, proceed with a candidate like you)!
The Benefits Of Working Remotely
Telepsychiatry offers flexibility in terms of hours and commuting, providing an escape from the confines and limitations of a traditional work environment. We handle the licensing and credentialing process in any state in the U.S., so you can work from anywhere (as long as your current residence is located in the USA or Puerto Rico).
As a result, time zones can work to your advantage. Perhaps you are someone who enjoys having your mornings free to run errands, working out at the gym, or spending time with your family. You have the flexibility to start your day later, or even earlier at 6:00 or 7:00 AM, in your current time zone. Wish you could end your day at 3:00 PM so you can pick up your kids from school? Telepsychiatry makes that dream a reality and gives you the freedom to choose your own schedule.
Being Part Of The Team
You might be working remotely, but you’re still part of the team. Our clinics recognize our telepsychiatry providers as an important piece of the puzzle and an integral part of their care team. They will recognize, and include you, as a provider as much as possible.
At Iris, we want you to feel like you have a work family. We have a Medical Director who you collaborate with remotely. He is your go-to resource, and you will meet with him at least once a quarter. Some of our clinics have more than one Iris provider, so you can make connections with fellow Iris team members as well as the clinic’s onsite staff. Communication is important, and this is compounded when you are working virtually. Since you are not physically there in the room with the patient, it’s important to be able to rely and convey what is needed to those who are involved on site. We help both you and the onsite staff to foster strong relationships built on a foundation of open and honest communication. As an Iris provider, you’re never alone, even though you might be far away – you have the support of dedicated Iris staff as well as the clinic’s team.
I Want To Work For Iris! Where Can I Apply?
We are always looking to expand our medical group with talented, passionate providers! Here’s a crazy statistic – we have hundreds of providers apply to work with us every week, and we only extend formal offers to six percent of applicants. If you consider yourself a self-starter, who is great at communicating and passionate about your work, we want to hear from you! We are searching for providers who are friendly, enjoy learning, and are flexible and adaptable.
You can find us on Indeed.com here. You can also apply directly on our website here. Also, you may email your resume/CV directly to firstname.lastname@example.org in either a Word Doc or PDF format (our system does not support opening resumes sent through Apple pages/note software). On your resume, please ensure that it lists your most current email address.
If you apply through Indeed.com, your personal email address does not appear unless it is listed so it’s helpful to include your cell phone number. We appreciate your interest in working with us, and want to make sure that we are able to reach out to you!
About Iris Telehealth
Iris Telehealth is a telepsychiatry provider organization made up of the highest quality psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners. Our mission is to provide underserved communities with access to the best mental health specialists and prescribers. We are owned and operated by doctors who understand what patients need and have earned a reputation for providing outstanding customer service. Iris values building strong professional relationships with our partners and their staff. We are dedicated to understanding your organization’s needs and operational goals because we recognize that your success is critical to our own.
Iris Telehealth has helped countless hospitals and community health organizations across the country add telepsychiatry to their list of services. We believe everyone should have access to compassionate mental health care, and we have made it our mission to find innovative, affordable ways of making this possible!