Telehealth is defined as the use of telecommunication techniques for the purpose of providing medical education, telemedicine and health education from any geographical location. An example is the telepsychiatry initiative which involves application of telemedicine to remedy mental health (Chan, Parish, & Yelloless, 2015). It incorporates use of video-conferencing, smartphone apps, mobile devices and sensors. It gained popularity as a result of the wide spread internet capabilities together with increased network speeds. The technology has improved the patient-provider satisfaction according to researches carried out (Steve, Parish & Peter, 2015). More often, children prefer the initiative but it’s suitable for everyone across all ages and is frequently implemented in settings such as nursing home populations to assist patients with multiple disabilities, paranoia, anxiety and PTSD (Chan, Parish, & Yelloless, 2015).
The technology is used in the diagnosis and treatment including medical management, group psychotherapy and individual psychotherapy. In addition to that, it can be implemented for consultation in primary care, specialist and surgery clinics. In hospital facilities, it’s used for emergency and consultation and largely in correlation and rehabilitation settings (Chan, Parish, & Yelloless, 2015). Examples of health system such as Veteran Administration are integrating the advancement into their operations what is more, experiencing an increase in patient numbers. Telepsychiatry among the leading telehealth initiative is showing positive growth and advancement. Due to the efficiency and effectiveness, more and more health leaders are seeing the need and merit of adopting technology into their operations. Therefore, the new current trend is likely to destabilize the conventional health approaches prompting a change in the business models.
To start accessing telepsychiatry services, health developers and other institutions have come up with augmented models of care. Applications are in place that can be downloaded and instantly an interaction with the therapist commences. To accurately measure the services, certain factors such as process and acceptability, integration of care, client satisfaction and coordination of a care among others are of vital concern. On top of that, clinical and cost outcomes measures are other ways that determine the effectiveness of the job performance through analysis of variables such as symptom outcome, completion of treatment, personnel cost and funding (Chan, Parish, & Yelloless, 2015).
Professional guidelines assist in infusing professionalism in the sector. Practice parameters are geared towards psychologists among other areas of interests such as data privacy and informed consent (Chan, Parish, & Yelloless, 2015). There are numerous steps involving stakeholders participating in the telepsychiatry industry that address various matters and how to effectively handle them. The technology simplified patient-therapist interaction and opened up new opportunities for exploitation such as employment opportunities and diversification of healthcare services.
Nowadays telepsychiatry is a promising field with much prospective. Health concerns which were previously unclear such as depression are getting the necessary attention and analysis to facilitate proper treatment. Health facilities and institutions have noticed the gap and are taking the necessary measures to ensure the program becomes a success and achieve the much needed healthcare cost reduction.