Telepsychiatry first emerged in the 1920s when psychiatrists would perform consultations over the radio with sailors or people on isolated islands who were ill. We have come a long way from the radio transmission days, but telepsychiatry now plays an ever-increasing role in the healthcare system. Today, telepsychiatry is still helping to increase access to quality care for both provider facilities and patients alike. But what makes MindCare distinct from the increasing number of telehealth providers proliferating the market?
1. Employed clinicians ensure consistent quality of care
Today, 111 million Americans live in areas that do not have access to mental health professionals. Fortunately, telepsychiatry has the potential to address and fix care shortages since its providers are not geographically bound.
Our more than 40 board-certified psychiatrists and behavioral health professionals are currently licensed in 27 states and are available 24/7 for consultations and patient visits. Importantly, they are employed and trained by the company, which means we can provide consistent quality of care and timely access for patients. Unlike locums that just fill a temporary need, our physicians are the consistent providers of care that the patients and referring clinics/hospitals get to know. Employed physicians do not have to worry about “no shows” or the amount of time they need to spend with patients as they are on an employment contract which focuses on quality as opposed to numbers. Employed physicians can follow up on issues quickly whereas locum physicians are usually no longer available for consultation once they leave their assignment. By developing relationships with your medical staff and their patients, we effectively act as an extension of your onsite team.
Timely access to mental health specialists via telepsychiatry has been shown to reduce patients’ length of stay in the hospital, decrease care burden for general physicians who are not experts in mental healthcare, and reduce physician burnout.
2. Facilitating follow-up care
Mental health patients often need extensive psychiatric follow-up care. Without it, many are at risk of social exclusion and even suicide. Patients who do receive follow-up care are more likely to achieve significant improvements in their condition and possibly even a speedy recovery.
Sadly, follow-up care is a service that some hospitals, and especially emergency departments are not equipped to provide. In a study of hospitals providing telepsychiatry services versus those that do not, 46% of patients who had access to telepsychiatry received 30-day follow-up care compared to only 16% of those at hospitals where the service was not provided. The same study also found that telepsychiatry patients were significantly less likely to be admitted to the hospital after an emergency department visit.
Better follow-up care with telepsychiatry also helps hospitals to meet or increase their Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) measures. The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) added telehealth modalities to their HEDIS behavior health measures in 2018. The NCQA stated that they recognize that telehealth offers an opportunity to increase access to care and that the interventions are supported by research-based evidence.
Telepsychiatry gives patients access to the end-to-end care that they need. We are committed to providing access to high-quality providers for patients around the country. Our service can help eliminate unnecessary inpatient admissions and lengthy ER visits, saving money for both patients and providers and preventing undue stress.
3. Coordinating care to complement your team
Mental health problems rarely occur in isolation. Frequently these patients will have other comorbidities, including heart disease and neurological illnesses, that require coordination with other specialists and clinicians.
Along with 24/7 access to mental health specialists, our team works to complement in-house clinical teams to provide coordinated patient care. We can improve patient outcomes by working together to address patients’ mental and physical healthcare needs. Our providers actively collaborate with onsite physicians to ensure effective communication. As a team, we also review challenging cases together to make sure patients are given the highest quality recommendations and follow-up care.
Our specialists are here to help emergency and primary care physicians provide improved operational efficiency as well as better patient experiences. Telepsychiatry has been shown to provide equivalent, if not better, care when compared with face-to-face visits.
At MindCare, we know you hire the best physicians to care for your patients. That’s why we hire the best mental health professionals, who are carefully screened, vetted, and receive ongoing education and training. Together, we can ensure that patients receive the best physical and mental healthcare possible. Our specialists can also provide training to your staff on how to recognize behavioral health problems, minimize disruptive behavior, and increase personal safety.
Pulling it all together
Our skilled team delivers best-in-class, end-to-end telepsychiatry services by combining evidence-based care, advanced technology, and high-quality providers. Our high standards and exemplary patient care not only increase access to care, it also increases patient flow in clinical settings, enhances provider and patient satisfaction levels, and reduces client costs.
Let MindCare be an extension of your existing team. Our services fit seamlessly into your existing clinical operations, and our specialists are here to help your team raise their patient care to the next level.