Telemental Health Evaluations Enhance Access and Efficiency in a Critical Access Hospital Emergency Department.
ABSTRACT Abstract Introduction: Mentally ill patients in crisis presenting to critical access hospital emergency rooms often face exorbitant wait times to be evaluated by a trained mental health provider. Patients may be discharged from the hospital before receiving an evaluation or boarded in a hospital bed for observation, reducing quality and increasing costs. This study examined the effectiveness of an emergency telemental health evaluation service implemented in a rural hospital emergency room. Materials and Methods: Retrospective data collection was implemented to consider patients presenting to the emergency room for 212 days prior to telemedicine interventions and for 184 days after. The study compared measures of time to treatment, length of stay (regardless of inpatient or outpatient status), and door-to-consult time. Results: There were 24 patients seen before telemedicine was implemented and 38 seen using telemedicine. All patients had a mental health evaluation ordered by a physician and completed by a mental health specialist. Significant reductions in all three time measures were observed. Mean and median times to consult were reduced from 16.2 h (standard deviation=13.2 h) and 14.2 h, respectively, to 5.4 h (standard deviation=6.4 h) and 2.6 h. Similar reductions in length of stay and door-to-consult times were observed. By t tests, use of telemedicine was associated with a statistically significant reduction in all three outcome measures. Conclusions: Telemedicine appears to be an effective intervention for mentally ill patients by providing more timely access to mental health evaluations in rural hospital emergency departments.
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ABSTRACT: To assess levels of agreement on priority areas among state and local rural health leaders nationwide. Analysis of responses to a mail survey sent to 999 rural health leaders, with 501 responses. Respondents were asked to rank importance to rural health of focus areas named in Healthy People 2010. There was substantial agreement on top rural health priorities among state and local rural health leaders across the 50 states. "Access to quality health services" was the top priority among leaders of state-level rural agencies and health associations, local rural public health agencies, rural health clinics and community health centers, and rural hospitals. It was the top priority across all 4 major census regions of the nation as well. The next 4 top-ranking rural priorities--"heart disease and stroke," "diabetes," "mental health and mental disorders," and "oral health"--were selected as 1 of the top 5 rural priorities by one third or more of respondents across most groups and regions. At the same time, some observed differences in rural health priorities suggest opportunities for community partnership strategies or for regional multistate policy initiatives by states sharing similar rural health priorities.The Journal of Rural Health 02/2003; 19(3):209-13. · 1.77 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The authors conducted a review and meta-analysis of the literature comparing telepsychiatry with "in-person" psychiatric assessments. Approximately 380 studies on telepsychiatry published between 1956 and 2002 were identified using MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and cross-referenced bibliographies. Of these, 14 studies with an N > 10 compared telepsychiatry with in-person psychiatry (I-P) using objective assessment instruments or satisfaction instruments. Three of these studies compared high bandwidth (HB) with low bandwidth (LB) telepsychiatry. Fourteen studies of 500 patients met inclusion criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. Telepsychiatry was found to be similar to I-P for the studies using objective assessments. Effect sizes were on average quite small, suggesting no difference between telepsychiatry and I-P. Bandwidth was found to be a significant moderator. Three moderators were tested, effect sizes remained largely heterogeneous, and further analyses are needed to determine the direction of effect. There was no difference between I-P and telepsychiatry between the HB and LB groups, although there are anecdotal data suggesting that HB was slightly superior for assessments requiring detailed observation of subjects. Out of a large telepsychiatry literature published over the past 40+ years, only a handful of studies have attempted to compare telepsychiatry with I-P directly using standardized assessment instruments that permit meaningful comparisons. However, in those studies, the current meta-analysis concludes there is no difference in accuracy or satisfaction between the two modalities. Over the next few years, we expect telepsychiatry to replace I-P in certain research and clinical situations.CNS spectrums 06/2005; 10(5):403-13. · 1.30 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although telepsychiatry in the form of videoconferencing has been well received in terms of increasing access to care and user satisfaction, few data on treatment outcomes and efficacy from telepsychiatry applications are available at the present time. This paper evaluates the efficacy of telepsychiatry through videoconference in the treatment of mental disorders by comparing to face-to-face conventional (F2FC) treatment. We carried out a randomized clinical trial where 140 psychiatric outpatients were randomized to either F2FC treatment or videoconference telepsychiatry (VCTP) treatment. Patients were diagnosed according to International Classification of Diseases, 10th edition (ICD-10) criteria using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Treatment involves eight consultations lasting 30 minutes over the 24-week study period. Patients received pertinent psychotropic medication plus cognitive- behavioral therapy during sessions. The same psychiatrist diagnosed and treated all the patients that were recruited from the Community Mental Health Centre of San Sebastian de la Gomera, in the Canary Islands. Change in psychiatric test scores served as the primary efficacy criterion. Efficacy was determined by comparing baseline (visit 1) Clinical Global Impressions-Severity of Illness (CGI-S) and -Improvement (CGI-I) scales as well as Global Indexes (GSI, PSDI, and PST) from SCL-90R with scores obtained at the end of the study period (week 24). Response was defined as a CGI-I score of 1 or 2. Reliable Change Indexes were computed in SCL-90R Global Indexes scores. Of 140 patients randomized, 130 completed 24 weeks of treatment. Only 4 patients dropped out prematurely from the study in VCTP and 6 in F2FC. The study involves 534 teleconsultations, 522 F2FC consultations, and more than 500 hours of clinical practice. Significant improvements were found on the CGI and SCL-90- R Global Indexes scores of both treatment groups, showing clear clinical state improvement. No statistically significant differences were observed when the efficacy of VCTP treatment was compared to F2FC psychiatric treatment efficacy. This study demonstrated that telepsychiatry treatment through videoconference has equivalent efficacy to F2FC psychiatric treatment. Telepsychiatry showed to be an effective mean of delivering mental health services to psychiatric outpatients living in remote areas with limited resources.Telemedicine and e-Health 07/2006; 12(3):341-50. · 1.54 Impact Factor