TelePsychiatry

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TelePsychiatry Logo
Watch this video to learn about TelePsychiatry at Dartmouth-Hitchcock.
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Behavioral Health care does not need to be a challenge your hospital staff has to face alone. Our TelePsychiatry service is here to help.

TelePsychiatry, a service of Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) Connected Care, can improve access to Board Certified psychiatrists who provide prompt 24/7/365 psychiatric consultations in the acute care setting. In the Emergency Dept or inpatient unit, TelePsychiatry enables psychiatrist assessment and triage to hospitals that do not have in-person physician coverage.

Patients are evaluated, managed and treated in real-time collaboration with the local providers. The On-Demand TelePsychiatry program will respond to calls within two hours of initiating the consult, to start treatment faster for patients.

Telemedicine in psychiatry, using video conferencing, is a validated and effective practice of medicine that increases access to care. The American Psychiatric Association supports the use of telemedicine as a legitimate component of a mental health delivery system to the extent that its use is in the best interest of the patient and is in compliance with the APA policies on medical ethics and confidentiality.

APA’s current policy on telepsychiatry, updated from its 1995 iteration with consultation from APA’s Council on Quality Care (and other Components)

Service overview

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Psychiatry provider working with patients over computer

Common reasons for consultation

  • Anxiety, depression, PTSD
  • Psychiatric medication management/recommendations
  • Suicidal ideation/attempt and risk assessment
  • Capacity evaluation
  • Bipolar affective disorder
  • Substance abuse issue, overdose
  • Mood disorders, schizophrenia
  • Violent or threatening behavior
  • Change in mental status
  • Psychosis

Financial and quality impact

FY19 TelePsychiatry median time to video: 73 minutes

Our TelePsychiatry services yield a number of benefits, which may include:

  • Decongested ED: increased capacity resulting from greater throughput
  • Assistance with medication management or disposition execution to improve throughput and accuracy
  • Decreased average length of stay
  • Reduced ED boarding for psychiatric diagnoses
  • Reductions in average time to triage and time to see a behavioral health professional
  • Decrease in behavioral health patients leaving the ED without being seen
  • Increased revenue opportunities arising from expanding patient care
  • Low-cost coverage for hospitals with limited or no crisis/psychiatrist access
  • Increased satisfaction of your clinical staff AND all patients

Frequently asked questions

Can we request a TelePsych consult at any time? Overnight? Holidays?

Yes, any site with TelePsychiatry has 24/7/365 call coverage for an On Demand TelePsychiatry consult.

Will we receive a copy of the consult note?

Yes, a consult note will be faxed to the site fax number provided at intake within 60 minutes of the consult.

Please note, the TelePsychiatrist will call and speak to the onsite provider directly following the consult to discuss recommendations, etc.

What is the difference between the two services: On Demand and Consult and Liaison?

On Demand is 24/7 Board Certified Psychiatrist coverage for patients who present with emergent conditions that should not wait for a scheduled consult.

Consult and Liaison are Board Certified Psychiatrists providing scheduled consults for all non-emergent psychiatric conditions. Usually, the patient has been admitted for other medical conditions and has a condition that requires a psychiatric consult.

How long does implementation take?

On average, we can launch a D-H TelePsychiatry service within two months. The implementation timeline may vary, depending in large part on the local hospital’s credentialing schedule and timeline.

Contact information

For more information on the TelePsychiatry Program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock please contact:

Katelyn A. Darling
TelePsychiatry
Program Manager Connected Care
Katelyn.A.Darling@hitchcock.org
Phone: 603-650-1317
Fax: 603-727-7462

For clinical questions regarding the TelePsychiatry Program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, please contact our Clinical Director:

Keri Height, Ph.D.
TelePsychiatry Clinical Director
Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
Clinical Director
Hanover Psychiatry
Keri.L.Height@Dartmouth.edu

Christine Finn, MD
TelePsychiatry Medical Director
Vice Chairman of Education
Director, Psychiatry Residency Training Program
Director, Crises and Consultation Service
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center