Telehealth FAQ
for Telepsychiatry

Questions about how telepsychiatry can help meet the behavioral health needs of your community, health system, or healthcare organization? You’ve come to the right place.

What is telepsychiatry?

Telepsychiatry is an innovative healthcare model that applies telemedicine to the field of psychiatry. In most cases, telepsychiatry uses video conferencing to deliver psychiatric assessment and treatment, allowing more people access to high-quality psychiatric care — no matter their location. To learn more about telepsychiatry, click here.

What challenges does telepsychiatry solve?

Mental health conditions are all too common in the U.S. — with one in five Americans experiencing symptoms in a given year — yet too few people are receiving treatment. Some of the most cited barriers to accessing mental health services in the U.S. are economics, geography, and the persistent stigma around seeking help. Telepsychiatry solves these challenges by increasing access to care, lowering costs associated with psychiatric care, and improving patient outcomes.

When a telepsychiatry program is implemented into community health centers and large health systems, more people have access to compassionate and highly qualified behavioral health providers. Telepsychiatry also allows providers and healthcare organizations more flexibility to reach patients and expands the network of high-quality providers that could be the right match for your organization. When providers aren’t limited to a certain geographic location, organizations are able to expand their recruitment search to find providers who match their long-term goals, align with their practice philosophy, and are a good cultural fit (no matter where they’re based in the U.S.).

How effective is telepsychiatry compared to in-person psychiatry services?

A telepsychiatry session is just as effective as a conventional in-person session. In both cases, a behavioral health provider will screen, diagnose, and create personalized treatment plans for their patients — all while working to build a strong rapport and connect with their patients. Because a telepsychiatry session is done in a virtual setting, it allows providers to meet the behavioral health needs of underserved communities, who would otherwise be unable to access high-quality psychiatric providers in their area.

Additionally, an increasing amount of evidence points to the value of telepsychiatry services in a variety of settings. Highlights include:

  • Emergency departments can decrease their length of stay for psychiatric patients — while reducing inpatient utilization within hospitals and lowering overall hospital costs.
  • Telepsychiatry has been proven to reduce costs significantly and improve patients’ overall health.
  • In some cases, wait times have decreased by up to 85%
What mental healthcare services are offered to patients through telepsychiatry?

Iris Telehealth offers a full range of psychiatric care via telemedicine, including outpatient and inpatient services, as well as 24/7 consultation services. In a typical telepsychiatry session, a provider works with a patient to understand and identify their specific symptoms, create a treatment plan, and prescribe medication as needed.

Which care settings work best for telepsychiatry?

Telepsychiatry is an effective treatment option in a variety of outpatient and inpatient settings, including community mental health centerscommunity health centers, federally qualified health centers, and hospitals and health systems.  Contact Iris Telehealth to learn more.

What equipment and software are needed for telepsychiatry?

At Iris Telehealth, we are technology-agnostic and can seamlessly integrate into any pre-existing EMR/EHR and e-prescription tool you’re currently using. We also encourage our partners to use the equipment, such as tablets and laptops, already on hand to avoid overcomplicating the technology.

If you have questions about equipment and software best practices, Iris Telehealth will work with your healthcare organization to provide a technology assessment and HIPAA-compliant recommendations based on your budget and overall needs. Contact us to learn more.

What type of training and support does Iris Telehealth offer?

At Iris Telehealth, every partner has a dedicated support team. Our clinical, IT, and medical staff services teams are on standby and ready to help your staff with everything from paperwork to patient workflows.

Additionally, we work closely with each partner facility to identify issues and areas for improvement. By collecting data that is meaningful for your organization and that truly reflects the clinical outcomes we are achieving, we can make informed decisions on how to adapt and grow your program.

How are providers vetted?

Every Iris provider must complete our rigorous vetting process, ensuring all providers are of the highest quality and can successfully serve our partners’ patient populations — only 4% of applicants become Iris providers. Once a provider passes our initial screening, they must undergo an in-depth interview process, which includes multiple video interviews with our clinical hiring team and medical director, detailed reference checks, and work history verifications.

Our vetting process has proven extremely valuable in properly determining long-term fit with Iris Telehealth and any future clinic assignments.

How are providers matched with partners?

Iris Telehealth takes steps to ensure that our top-notch clinicians are thoroughly vetted and are a good fit for our partner facilities across the country — a process we call “matching.” Our mission is to help patients, providers, and healthcare organizations achieve their goals through clinically sound and financially sustainable psychiatry programs. Unlike many staffing agencies and locum tenens groups, our matches are meant to be permanent — like a typical onsite provider’s position would be.

While providers are Iris employees and treated as independent contractors by the facility they are matched with, Iris is unique because we ensure that providers and partner facilities are a mutual match in scheduling preferences, long-term goals, and practice philosophy. We ensure we always provide the best maximum outreach and positive community impact possible by operating this way.

How does the credentialing process work?

The medical staff services team at Iris Telehealth ensures every provider possesses an active and current professional license, a controlled substance registration if applicable, and federal DEA registration in every state their patients are located in before beginning treatment. These licenses and registrations are verified via primary source verification from the applicable state board or DEA website. To stay ahead of any expiration dates, our team closely monitors and works with providers to renew all required licenses, certifications, and registrations.

Each Iris provider is also required to familiarize themselves with those applicable to their practice to ensure they provide care, treatment, or services within the scope of their credentials. To learn more about our credentialing process, click here.

Iris Telehealth: One of the top-rated telepsychiatry companies