Telepsychiatry is a system that allows people to access mental health services remotely, either through an internet-based audio-video platform or a phone connection. Telepsychiatry can offer patients a number of benefits and ensure they get the support they need during times of difficulty.
Lives are becoming busier and with the recent public health concerns around COVID-19, it can make it difficult for patients to access the support they need. Typically, telepsychiatry works best using an audio-visual platform approach to allow psychiatrists to interact directly with patients, but treatment via a telephone call can also work well. The most significant benefit of telepsychiatry is that it can provide a practical and effective alternative to in-person psychiatric services. It allows vulnerable individuals to access much-needed care remotely from the comfort of their own home.
Research suggests that telepsychiatry can lead to improved outcomes and increase patient access to psychiatric services by offering equivalent care to that of in-person psychiatric care in terms of:
- Accuracy of diagnosis
- Quality of care
- Effectiveness of treatment
- Client confidentiality
Accessibility and Convenience
Telepsychiatry allows evaluations and treatment decisions to be made without a patient having to physically be at the office. This type of service offers convenience and accessibility to patients, particularly to those who may be geographically isolated or are unable to travel. Telepsychiatry can also reduce the amount of time needed to take off of work or school for treatment by eliminating the need to travel.
Telepsychiatry has been found to be an effective method of treating a number of psychiatric conditions, making treatment more accessible to people with varying needs. Conditions include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Substance abuse and addiction
- Psychotic disorders
Telepsychiatry does not limit the level of care a patient receives, and like in-office appointments, a psychiatrist can still arrange for prescription medications or order tests as needed.
Quality of Care
Telepsychiatry has reported high satisfaction levels for both clients and psychiatrists and is particularly beneficial for children, adolescents, and those with anxiety disorders who find in-person psychiatric services difficult to attain. Telepsychiatry can help such individuals feel more relaxed and willing to open up when in the comfort of their own home.
Many insurers still do not cover telepsychiatry, and some practices do not accept insurance for this service. It can, however, still be a cost-effective way to access treatment by reducing the indirect costs involved with face-to-face treatment (such as travel expenses and time off work).
Although almost any mental health or substance-related condition can be treated using a telepsychiatry approach, it may not be for everyone. If you are considering telepsychiatry, a psychiatrist can assess whether it’s the right approach for you.
Telepsychiatry Services in New York City and Southbury, Connecticut
If you require support for a mental health or substance abuse issue and would like to find out if telepsychiatry can benefit you, contact Psy-Visions. Using a sophisticated personal history questionnaire and other diagnostic tools, psychiatrist Dr. Stracks will evaluate your specific needs and develop a customized treatment plan.