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TELEPSYCHIATRY

Telepsychiatry or telemedicine, is a specifically defined form of ‘video conferencing’ that can provide psychiatric services to patients living in rural/remote locations, or otherwise underserved areas. It can usually easily connect patients, psychiatrists,physicians, and other healthcare professionals through the use of television cameras and microphones. Commonly used internet platform is ‘Skype’.

Telepsychiatry currently provides an array of services, including but not limited to diagnosis and assessment; medication management; and individual and group therapy. It also provides an opportunity for consultative services between psychiatrists, primary care physicians and other healthcare providersTelepsychiatry is also being used to provide patients with second opinions in areas where only one psychiatrist is available. Telepsychiatry has been shown to improve collaborative services between professionals.

It is well documented that healthcare professionals feel Telepsychiatry has given them an unique opportunity to work more effectively as a team. Patients surveyed say they felt that the communication between their physicians had improved their outcomes, and do not see Telepsychiatry as a barrier to their recovery. There are a few barriers to providing telepsychiatry services. The connectivity through broadband can be an ongoing issue until the National Broadband Network Scheme connects up all sectors of Australia.

Overall, telepsychiatry provides easy and increased access to services and has helped enhance the provision of mental health services to families with children and other patients, who are homebound. Patients participating in the telepsychiatric services say they are satisfied with the level of care they are receiving. Most have agreed that telepsychiatry is a reliable form of practice.

MARSAI Clinic is connected by its own Telepsychiatry  protocol to a range of its patients positioned in rural and remote areas.

Just give us a call. We are here to help you, and even assist you to set up your own SKYPE system. We value your needs and will work around the technical issues to ensure that we reach you ‘where you are’. We believe that the ‘tyranny of distance’ from our clinic cannot be a barrier to your connection to our services.

Please note: The risks of using platforms like SKYPE can have its own risk issues, and this needs to be accepted at both ends through a ‘CONSENT TO USE SKYPE FOR TELEPSYCHIATRY’ form signed. If a particular patient has any concerns in regard to this, this needs to be discussed thoroughly before proceeding. MARSAI clinic will not take responsibility for any issues with the SKYPE related breaches of security, or other technical difficulties, that may arise while providing this service.

Resources:

https://www.ranzcp.org/Publications/guides-for-the-public/Telepsychiatry.aspx

http://www.anywherehealthcare.com.au/