5 Keys to Ensuring Telepsychiatry Program Quality

Posted by Regroup on Aug 21, 2019, 2:30:00 PM
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Quality of Mental Health Clinicians and Operations Drives Better Outcomes

If your organization is considering a telepsych program or has already added telepsych services, the key to long-term success is establishing and maintaining a high level of quality. By combining the right clinicians, tools and processes, healthcare organizations can improve outcomes for both their patients and their own businesses.

So how can organizations ensure they’re delivering quality care? Successful programs should enhance in-person care, not replace it, with clinicians working closely with existing care teams to treat patients. Integrating telepsychiatry with your existing services allows you to streamline operations and have greater oversight and quality control. Here are five elements your telepsych program should consist of in order to ensure the delivery of high-quality mental health care.

Recruiting the Right Clinicians

Finding the right clinicians is key for any telemental healthcare program. That’s
why a partner who offers a deep network of quality clinicians is a huge asset, enabling organizations to find the ideal fit for their particular patient population and deliver a high level of care. Facilities should look for clinicians whose expertise matches their needs, such as working with children and adolescents, substance abuse, or specific clinical settings.

Once a match is found, candidates should undergo a rigorous credentialing process to ensure they have the appropriate training, certifications, licensing and technological competence. A thorough criminal background check should also be mandatory. Unfortunately, many facilities don’t have the resources to properly search, screen and vet potential hires. By working with an experienced telepsychiatry partner, facilities can put the best people in place while saving valuable time and money.

Did You Know? Regroup’s in-house recruiting and credentialing teams have 35+ years of combined experience, helping to ensure every Regroup clinician has the appropriate training, certification, work experience and technological savvy to deliver high-quality services.

Telepsychiatry and Partner-specific Onboarding

Every healthcare facility has its own unique clinical structure, so teleclinicians need to be well-versed in both telepsychiatry and your organization’s specific needs. When a telepsychiatrist works closely with the on-site care team, they can develop holistic treatment approaches that address patients’ mental health alongside physical health issues. A telepsych partner can help streamline this collaboration.

As part of the onboarding process, make sure that both clinicians and staff members are familiar and comfortable using the required technology. Training teleclinicians on equipment setup and use and guiding them through steps like charting in an electronic health record can help them integrate seamlessly and efficiently into the care team.

Did You Know? Regroup’s dedicated deployment team ensures clinicians understand the nuances of telehealth care delivery and processes specific to their assigned care site, helping facilities maintain high levels of clinical quality and collaboration.

Continuous Quality Improvement

Once your telepsychiatry program is up and running, it’s important to regularly monitor all aspects of operation. This can help not only to maintain quality but also to identify opportunities for improvement. A telepsych partner can help your organization stay on top of rapidly changing healthcare regulations and licensing requirements, allowing you to refine your program and ensure clinicians are meeting the latest standards. Establishing a formal oversight committee can also help enforce quality standards.

Did You Know? Regroup’s clinical oversight committee reviews and validates all aspects of its integrated care delivery model to maintain high standards in care delivery, service and compliance throughout its partners’ telemental health programs.

Peer Reviews

Identifying and immediately addressing potential concerns about clinicians is
essential for maintaining patient safety and quality care standards. Because telemental healthcare is highly specialized, clinicians with comparable backgrounds are often best equipped to make these evaluations and recommendations.

Look for a telepsychiatry partner who offers peer reviews as part of their support services. Whether these peer reviews happen because of potential concerns or as a result of random selection, they can help measure a clinician’s performance against the needs of your facility and patients. Depending on the findings, the review panel may suggest providing feedback to the clinician, transferring the clinician to a new facility or placing them on a performance improvement plan.

Did You Know? Regroup performs regular peer reviews as part of its quality control processes, soliciting feedback for its Medical Director to correct course prior to impacting care.

Issue Tracking

Quality is multi-faceted, so close collaboration and communication are essential to head off any quality issues before they impact services. To help facilitate this, your telehealth and on-site teams should meet regularly to discuss all aspects of clinical care, from patient case loads and treatment plans to tech challenges. When issues arise, take a proactive approach until they’re resolved. Establishing a collaborative, cross-functional team to manage issues across multiple areas can resolve them efficiently without affecting care quality.

Did You Know? Regroup meets regularly with the clinical leadership of their partner organizations to proactively identify, address and resolve any issues before they impact the quality of services.

While telepsychiatry is helping to increase access to mental health care for organizations and patients alike, quality is key to the success of any program. An experienced telepsychiatry partner can help your organization put the right quality measures in place, helping you meet the triple aim of improved patient satisfaction, better clinical outcomes and reduced costs.

Contact us to learn more about how comprehensive quality programs can improve operations and the level of care being delivered at your organization.

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