Understanding the Advantages & Disadvantages of TelePsychiatry in Raleigh
Updated: Mar 5, 2020
Experts estimate that approximately one-fifth of the world's population has a mental health disorder that should be treated. Many psychiatrists and psychologists are excited about the use of telepsychiatry in Raleigh, North Carolina and elsewhere across the country.
Learn how to determine if videoconferencing with your psychiatrist and/or mental health therapist is the right treatment method for you.
Understanding What TelePsychiatry Is & How It Works
Telemedicine is trending in all types of healthcare fields these days. Many psychiatrists, psychologists and mental health therapists are also offering this innovative method of treating their clients.
Basically, telepsychiatry connects psychiatrists/therapists with clients through use of videoconferencing. This requires either a television screen, computer monitor or smartphone connected to the Internet with real-time video technology.
How Effective TelePsychiatry Is Helping Rural Clients
Thousands of people across America today don't have access to quality mental health treatment. This is true worldwide in almost every country.
More rural inhabitants are using telehealth technologies to ensure access to specialty health fields including psychiatric treatment.
The good news is that effective telepsychiatry is helping rural clients get the mental health treatment that they need. However, more rural communities are still lacking essential broadband access. This can hinder telehealth services to people who need it most.
Pros & Cons of Videoconferencing in Mental Health
There are both advantages and disadvantages of using videoconferencing type technology for mental health care. There are also rules and regulations that healthcare providers must follow when providing this sort of service.
Telehealth is meant for patients who are deemed stable enough to not need face-to-face health treatment. Each client will undergo a face-to-face psychiatric assessment before beginning this treatment type.
Generally, clients must meet face-to-face with their mental health treatment provider every few months and/or at least once a year. This can vary somewhat between states and providers. Since this technology is relatively new and evolving, rules are subject to change.
Some pros include:
Can increase treatment access
Cuts out travel requirement
More clients can be treated
Lowers or eliminates waiting time
Increases client satisfaction with services
Allows access to specialists not available in rural or poor areas
Can lower client stress
Avoids appointment cancellations due to weather or health problems
Terrific for busy people
Can increase treatment care quality
More engaged clients can increase motivation
Easier to report problems right away
Some cons include:
Rural communities often still lack broadband service
Client & staff must be proficient with technology - requires training
Initial cost of equipment can be higher
Care needs to be taken for keeping continuity of care with multiple healthcare providers using the program
Costs allowed by healthcare insurance can vary & may be more limited for this service
Requires that client have access to Internet broadband & smartphone or computer
Sensitive client information safety risks when using Internet programs
Connection may be hindered during bad weather or other interference
Not for everyone - clients with dementia, younger children & those with certain learning or other disability may hinder treatment effectiveness
Human contact limited - some clients miss this
Is TelePsychiatry Effective for Everyone?
While telepsychiatry services are revolutionizing the mental health field, it is not for everyone.
Some client groups that may be helped with telehealth services include:
Stable clients with high anxiety, fears of leaving home or other issues
Small hospital patients needing specialists
Community groups like support groups, senior centers & others without nearby access to these supportive and therapeutic services otherwise
Clients in abuse situations - discreet phone apps to contact help
Client groups not suited include:
Suicidal thoughts, behaviors etc. - proceed to ER
Clients with dementia or confusion
Those with learning or other pertinent disability
Anyone exhibiting life-threatening illnesses or behaviors
It is important that an in-depth initial assessment be completed face-to-face with a mental health provider. This is done to evaluate whether the client meets the safety criteria for moving to telepsychiatry type services available in Triangle and/or Raleigh, NC.
Each client must be given information regarding videoconferencing and sign a detailed permission to treat document. The clients will be given instructions of pertinent situations that will need immediate reporting.
Contact MedPsych Integrated via https://www.medpsychnc.com online or call 919-582-7272 for details about TelePsychiatry Services in Raleigh.