Telepsychiatry: The Basics
What is telepsychiatry?
Telepsychiatry is the practice of psychiatry using technology to
connect a patient and mental health provider who are not in the
same physical location. In its infancy, telepsychiatry required
expensive video conferencing equipment, making start-up costs
prohibitive for many clinics. Now, any device with a video camera
and access to the Internet can be used for telepsychiatry.
Telepsychiatry gives healthcare providers needed flexibility and
reach, especially those with multiple locations in a town or region
or those facing physician coverage shortages and patient volume
What are the Benefits of Telepsychiatry?
- Minimize long wait times for psychiatric consults
- Integrate access to psychiatric services with primary care
- Decrease costly inpatient admissions
- Prevent ED overcrowding
- Free up staff to work with other patients
Is telepsychiatry HIPAA compliant?
In order to be HIPAA compliant, the telepsychiatry session must
be conducted over an encrypted connection. This requirement may
rule out some free video chat services.
How can I get started using telepsychiatry?
There are several telemedicine technology providers available in
the United States. Going through one of them can help you ensure
that you are HIPAA compliant. To learn more about
telepsychiatry, contact an