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Mental healthcare without boundaries: Part 2

March 6, 2014
by Peter Eggleston
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Don't just think of video-based telehealth services as an extension of your current businesses. The growing market for virtual care encounters can open up new opportunities, too. One such virtual business is HealthLinkNow (www.HealthLinkNow.com), a fully integrated online clinic of specialists providing mental health services through secure video visit technology. According to Barb Johnston, CEO, “A huge part of a successful virtual model is understanding how to be flexible and integrate into the workflow of many different environments. For instance, many organizations prefer to set dedicated blocks of clinical time for patient care via virtual visits, while others want a hybrid model in which they may use some blocks of time but also offer 'on-demand' access to psychiatrists who may work from an office and also support a hospital in their area. This helps fill in the gaps for both the psychiatrist and the hospital.”

Even though organizations like HealthLinkNow offer another way to deliver virtual services, Johnston cautions that setting up your own service is not as easy as putting the technology in place. There are numerous factors to address before any organization can deliver services. Among these are licensing, credentialing, adjudication, support, and HIPAA compliance. Taking advantage of the knowledge and resources of major industry organizations can be a great help in considering and planning virtual care services.

 

Resources

American Telemedicine Association www.americantelemed.org Leading advocate for use of advanced remote medical technologies

Telepsychology 50 State Review

www.apapracticecentral.org/advocacy/state/telehealth-slides.pdf Published by the American Psychological Association 
Guidelines for the practice of telepsychology www.apapracticecentral.org/ce/guidelines/telepsychology-guidelines.pdf Published by the American Psychological Association
Telemental Health Guide www.tmhguide.org Essentials for developing, implementing and sustaining tele-health services
Telemental Health Comparisons www.telementalhealthcomparisons.com Independent telemental health technology comparison site that identifies therapeutic and technology resources
Telemental Health Institute www.telehealth.org/links Links to TeleMental Health Resources

 

While you might view virtual technologies as a more convenient and efficient means of delivering existing mental health services, think further in terms of how you can leverage these capabilities to deliver new products and services. For instance, Scott Alfieri, CEO of three behavioral health services companies including Crisis Management International (www.cmiatl.com) has recently rolled several of his operating organizations’ assets into a holding company, R3 Continuum (The R3 stands for ready, respond, recover).

“Having the technology capabilities within a single organization enables each of our service units to deliver existing services more efficiently, while supporting expansion into areas that are now not so easily or efficiently served with mental health services,” states Alfieri. “And with the ease of deploying a cloud-based solution, our organizations can quickly and affordably provide that high-touch capability to make these programs successful.”

It has never been easier to begin deploying video-based telehealth visits in your lines of business. Thanks to continued advances in video communications and integration technologies, you can rapidly and cost-effectively expand your reach to service consumers, offer timely access to care, and maximize productivity and convenience for high-demand psychiatry or psychology providers.

 

Peter Eggleston is the Chief Marketing Officer for SBR Health (www.sbrhealth.com), an innovative health technology company that provides solutions to enable the rapid and cost effective creation of virtual healthcare delivery networks by proving workflow and IT integration solutions for video communications.

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