Telepsychiatry services expand access to behavioral health care

(HealthDay)—Two studies published online Feb. 5 in Psychiatric Services show the successful use of telepsychiatry services in different settings.

Rain E. Freeman, M.P.H., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues surveyed U.S. emergency departments to assess telepsychiatry services. In 2016, one in five emergency departments reported receiving telepsychiatry, with higher likelihood among rural and Critical Access Hospitals. Of those with confirmed use, 59 percent reported that telepsychiatry was its only form of emergency psychiatric services, and 25 percent received services at least once a day, most commonly for admission or discharge decisions (80 percent) and transfer coordination (76 percent).

Jay H. Shore, M.D., from the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora, and colleagues assessed implementation of the first known telepsychiatry-enabled model of perinatal integrated care in a specialty obstetrics practice. Nineteen percent of 712 patients seen at an urban women’s clinic were referred for behavioral health services. Telepsychiatry-supported integrated care was associated with higher rates of perinatal depression screening and treatment engagement, compared to national averages, as well as positive outcomes related to birthweight and breastfeeding behavior.

Source: Read Full Article