Telepsychiatry is Rising in Popularity, Despite Hurdles

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Telepsychiatry could help with the major shortage of psychiatrists in the US.
Telepsychiatry could help with the major shortage of psychiatrists in the US.
 

“The practice of telepsychology involves consideration of legal requirements, ethical standards, telecommunication technologies, intra- and interagency policies, and other external constraints, as well as the demands of the particular professional context” the authors wrote.

Two primary concerns are internet security and compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which is intended to protect patients' personal health information and requires clinicians to obtain a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) from the videoconferencing service provider. The BAA “is what really protects you,” said Dr Alvord.

Therapists providing services via telehealth should receive ongoing training, added Wonders, and they should “check with the licensing laws and policies of the insurance companies with whom they are contracted to stay up to date on inevitable changes to come.”

References

1.      U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Shortage Designation: Health Professional Shortage Areas & Medically Underserved Areas/Populations. Retrieved on February 3, 2016 from http://www.hrsa.gov/shortage

2.      Myers K, Vander Stoep A, Zhou C et al. Effectiveness of a Telehealth Service Delivery Model for Treating Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Community-Based Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. 2015; 54(4):263-74. 

3.      Rockhill C. Telepsychiatry intervention is better for ADHD symptoms than usual treatment augmented by telemedicine consultation. Evid Based Mental Health. 2015; 18:e9 

4.      Kasckow J, Felmet K, Appelt C, et al. Telepsychiatry in the assessment and treatment of schizophrenia. Clinical Schizophrenia & Related Psychoses. 2014; 8(1):21-27A.

5.      Bolton AJ, Dorstyn DS. Telepsychology for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A systematic review. Journal of Telemedicine & Telecare. 2015; 21(5):254-67.

6.      Morland LA, Mackintosh MA, Rosen CS et al. TELEMEDICINE VERSUS IN-PERSON DELIVERY OF COGNITIVE PROCESSING THERAPY FOR WOMEN WITH POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER: A RANDOMIZED NONINFERIORITY TRIAL. Depression and Anxiety. 2015; 32(11):811-20. 

7.      Schutte JL, McCue MP, Parmanto B, et al. Usability and reliability of a remotely administered adult autism assessment, the autism diagnostic observation schedule (ADOS) module 4. Telemedicine Journal and e-health. 2015; 21(3):176-84.

8.      Southard EP, Neufeld JD, Laws S. Telemental Health Evaluations Enhance Access and Efficiency in a Critical Access Hospital Emergency Department. Telemedicine Journal and e-health. 2014; 20(7):664-8. 

9.      Seidel RW, Kilgus MD. Agreement between telepsychiatry assessment and face-to-face assessment for Emergency Department psychiatry patients. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare; 2014; 20(2):59-62. 

10.    Saurman E, Kirby SE, Lyle D. No longer 'flying blind': how access has changed emergency mental health care in rural and remote emergency departments, a qualitative study. BMC Health Services Research. 2015; 15:156. 

11.     American Telemedicine Association. Practice Guidelines for Video-Conferencing-Based Telemental Health. 2009. Retrieved on February 3, 2016 from http://www.americantelemed.org/docs/default-source/standards/practice-guidelines-for-videoconferencing-based-telemental-health.pdf?sfvrsn=6

12.     Guidelines for the Practice of Telepsychology. American Psychological Association. 2013. Retrieved on February 3, 2016 from http://www.apa.org/practice/guidelines/telepsychology.aspx

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