Benefits of telepsychiatry
Telehealth, also known as telemedicine, delivers health services to patients without in-person office visits. The service leverages video conferencing tools that allow for real-time, two-way, and interactive communication. It could also be through secure messaging, email, and file exchanges.
However, if you’re just learning about this industry, you might also be wondering, what is telepsychiatry?
Telepsychiatry is a subset of telemedicine focused on psychiatric assessment, diagnosis, and treatment, via video-based technology. Aside from the mode of delivery, telepsychiatry works just like an in-person visit to your mental healthcare professional.
The process goes smoother when you attend your telepsychiatry session with any relevant information and records of previous diagnoses. With that said, let’s explore the benefits of telepsychiatry offered by Meadows Psychiatry.
Advantages of telepsychiatry
Telepsychiatry offers a range of benefits to the psychiatrist and the patient, as detailed below.
Patients from areas with limited access to hospitals or the available hospitals that don’t have mental health services are forced to travel long distances to a specialized psychiatrist or settle for general practitioners closer to them without psychiatric training.
Telepsychiatry breaks down these barriers and allows patients to connect with specialized and trained mental health providers anywhere in the United States. This way, patients get quality treatment without taking time off school or work and spending a fortune on travel.
Over the years, the acceptance of mental illnesses and people suffering from them has come a long way. However, there’s still some stigma that comes with seeking mental health treatment and care. This stigma might discourage some individuals from getting the much-needed treatment.
Telepsychiatry adds confidentiality to the treatment process negating the stigma. Moreover, some patients find it easier to open up on video calls than in-person.
Telepsychiatry is a perfect solution for patients suffering from extreme anxiety or that are uncomfortable in unfamiliar surroundings or clinical settings. It allows the patient to meet a psychiatrist online from the safety and comfort of a familiar space.
Moreover, for patients with panic disorders and agoraphobia, teletherapy relieves the pressures of traveling, making the treatment sessions with a trained therapist effective.
Telepsychiatry allows psychiatrists and patients to optimize their time. For a psychiatrist, they know what time they have an appointment and are seated and ready at their desk by the appointment time.
For patients, the effect is even bigger. They no longer have to sit idle waiting to be seen. Instead, they pick a quiet and private space, open the teleconferencing tool on their laptop or smartphone at the specified time, and are good to go.
In case the psychiatrist has an emergency and needs to reschedule, the patient doesn’t have to waste time away from family or work driving to yet another appointment.
Overall, telepsychiatry provides a solution for patients who often feel their time is undervalued.
Because of easier access to trained specialists, reduced waiting and travel times, and cost, patients are more likely to continue with their telepsychiatry treatment.
In-person psychiatric care barriers like travel difficulties, stigma, costs, and time constraints cause patients to give up on their treatment as they opt to attend to more pressing issues. Removing these barriers encourages patients to see through their psychiatric treatment.
Aside from the reduced expenditure on appointments, telepsychiatry also provides cost savings in several ways, as detailed below:
- Reduce gas expenses.
- Minimal vehicle wear and tear.
- Since patients don’t have to miss work for telepsychiatry appointments, their earnings are preserved.
- Psychiatrists have lower overhead costs.
Is telepsychiatry effective?
Studies reveal that telepsychiatry is an effective and acceptable treatment for mental health disorders such as PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
According to research, telepsychiatry is equal to an in-person visit in the effectiveness of treatment, accuracy of diagnosis, patient satisfaction, and quality of care. With advanced technologies in telecommunications, patient privacy and confidentiality are equal to that of in-person care.
Studies also reveal that overall patient satisfaction across all age groups is acceptable, with some people preferring telehealth to in-person care. For instance, individuals with severe anxiety, autism, and physical limitations will prefer remote treatment and experience the benefits of working with a mental health professional.
To improve this efficiency, Dr. Richard Wu. goes out of his way to customize treatments for his patients. The treatment starts with his learning and understanding of your needs and later creating a treatment plan with your unique psychiatric disorders in mind. Dr. Wu is dedicated to treating the patient as a whole instead of just treating individual symptoms.
How is telehealth used in psychiatry?
Telepsychiatry can be used to treat mental conditions, including eating disorders, bipolar disorder, depression, insomnia, and anxiety. The services delivered include psychiatric evaluation, medication management, behavioral therapy, and education on mental health conditions.
Although miles apart, there’s a direct interaction between the patient and the psychiatrist. Psychiatrists also support primary care providers by equipping them with basic mental health handling and treatment tips through a live video or a recording.
What is the difference between telehealth and teletherapy?
Telehealth and teletherapy are different types of medical services delivered through videotelephony.
Telehealth offers general healthcare providers the opportunity to treat patients suffering from various medical conditions remotely. Whereas teletherapy focuses on mental health and the treatment of patients through talk therapy.
Generally, teletherapy focuses on creating a supportive environment where a patient can speak freely to a trained psychologist, counselor, or therapist without judgment.
Telepsychiatry is a type of telehealth service, but it involves getting to the root of the mental disorder and chemical imbalances that could be causing such issues. After a diagnosis is made, treatment often consists of behavioral therapy and the use of psychopharmaceuticals.
Do you offer In-person psychiatric care?
Yes. Dr. Richard Wu, the founder of Meadows Psychiatry, offers in-person care at his office in Maryland as well as Telepsychiatry. This combination ensures that patients outside of Rockville have access to psychiatric consultations and treatment options for continued care.