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Meeting Patients Where They Are

InSight Telepsychiatry is the leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization with a mission to transform access to quality behavioral health care through innovative applications of technology. InSight has 2 decades of experience with telepsychiatry, and serves hundreds of organizations across the country with its on-demand, scheduled, connected services, and Inpathy divisions. InSight is uniquely positioned to offer scalable telepsychiatry services in settings across the continuum of care. InSight has a diverse provider team, a robust internal infrastructure and a history of adapting its programs to fit the needs of a variety of different settings and populations.
In addition to telepsychiatry offerings available through EAP programs or employer benefits, schools and universities are also finding success leveraging telepsychiatry for many of the same reasons. Notably, a 2013 study determined that telepsychiatry may be more effective than inperson care for younger age groups “because of the novelty of the interaction, direction of the technology, the psychological and physical distance and the authenticity of the family interaction.”

At a time when behavioral health needs in younger populations are rapidly growing, telepsychiatry models enable staff to connect students with timely and proactive access to mental and behavioral health resources directly on campus and during times that align with students’ schedules. For instance, The Lincoln Center, an alternative school in Pennsylvania, is leading by example through its telepsychiatry program, which provides mental and behavioral health services to students on a regular, ongoing basis.

Minimizing Crisis Situations
The benefits of telepsychiatry are far reaching, and 1 of the most significant impacts of these models is their ability to provide real-time support and assessment when individuals are in higher acuity or crisis situations. In line with the strong push across the industry to meet people where they are, telepsychiatry helps circumvent the need for ED visits by providing real-time assessment via videoconferencing.

St. Joseph’s Villa, a nonprofit organization in Richmond, Virginia, that serves children with special needs and their families, is making major strides to address the inadequate access to psychiatric care in the area. By leveraging telepsychiatry to provide crisis stabilization services for vulnerable child and adolescent populations, the program aims to divert individuals in need from costly, unnecessary hospitalization. Since implementing telepsychiatry in 2014, the program has served nearly 500 children in their crisis stabilization unit, diverting nearly 90% from the ED.

Many communities are also turning to telepsychiatry in efforts to enhance existing crisis management services and better serve individuals in psychiatric crisis in their own homes. By arming mobile crisis teams with videoconferencing technology during inhome assessments, individuals in need can be connected to mental health providers to receive specialized care in real-time via iPad or other similar technology. These models are rapidly expanding across the country as communities aim to more effectively utilize local resources and avoid high-cost hospitalizations.

One of the nation’s first models of remote crisis behavioral health care, launched by Access Services—a nonprofit organization that specializes in improving the quality of life for people with special needs—in 2014, has seen success with the program as an effective approach in addressing the growing behavioral health provider shortage impacting the area.

Similarly, some innovative communities have started equipping first responders and police officers with telepsychiatry to virtually “bring” psychiatrists or mental health screeners with them via iPad to assess and manage the situation in real-time. The ultimate goal is to determine the best course of action and direct individuals in crisis to the appropriate type of care from wherever they are, potentially preventing adverse outcomes for the individual and the community as a whole.

As communities embrace this reality, consumers will benefit from a less fragmented healthcare system that delivers care directly to where they are. Nonclinical settings are wise to consider telepsychiatry as an effective means to bolster behavioral health access and drive better care outcomes across the board.

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