There’s nothing cookie-cutter about telemental health care. Just as each patient’s needs are unique, so are each facility’s needs for implementing an effective program. Beyond finding the right clinician, telepsychiatry success requires technology and processes best suited to your facility’s particular structure and goals. Having a partner committed to meeting the needs of your organization can make all the difference.
Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach to technology, a partner who provides customized tools, training and support can help:
- Maximize billings by avoiding technical problems that cut into patient sessions
- Improve operational efficiency and free up facility staff for other high-value tasks
- Turn psychiatrists into “tele”-psychiatrists and ensure satisfaction among staff, clinicians and patients alike
Telepsychiatry Hardware and Software
One advantage of telepsychiatry is the flexibility of the technology. While investing in telemental health equipment might seem like an expensive proposition, having a few basics in place can get your telepsych program up and running without a large financial investment.
Some telepsych partners insist you adopt their hardware or software systems, such as their own electronic health record. This can make the implementation process expensive and exhausting. In contrast, a telepsychiatry company that designs a solution around your existing technology can help reduce costs and make implementation much less of an operational lift. And instead of “launching and leaving,” the team that manages tech setup will ideally stay involved as an ongoing resource to address questions when they arise.
Did you know? Regroup’s technical implementation and support staff establishes a relationship with each facility and its tech team right from the start, working with team members to coordinate equipment installation. Regroup uses existing electronic health records or other technology whenever possible and collaborates with providers to align their tech investment to their patient population and resources. For partners needing additional resources, the RegroupConnect™ videoconferencing platform provides a reliable, HIPAA-compliant connection between clinicians and patients along with features like ePrescribing and patient feedback surveys.
“Sourcing and implementing the technology we needed for telepsychiatry seemed a bit daunting at first, but the process has been much simpler than we anticipated,” Family Guidance Center says. “Regroup guided us through the setup process and trained us on using videoconferencing before launching the program.”
Pre-launch: Building Skills and Confidence Across the Care Team
While the technology required for telemental health care is simple to use, it’s important for both clinicians and staff members to be familiar and comfortable with it. Before your facility schedules a single patient session, your telepsych partner should take the time to bring clinicians and staff members up to speed. Many clinicians and facility staff members have either never conducted patient sessions via video or have only done so through a partner who wasn’t particularly hands-on. Guiding them through steps for initiating sessions and charting in the electronic health record system helps build confidence so they can focus on patient care during sessions.
Did you know? Regroup supports each facility with a dedicated IT representative who knows telespsychiatry technical setup inside and out. They work closely with both on-site staff and teleclinicians to ensure complete understanding of the technology before the program goes live. This thorough process includes a technical survey to evaluate existing equipment and a tech readiness session using the videoconferencing software to gauge how comfortable clinicians and staff are with the technology prior to the first day of sessions.
“Regroup truly does an amazing job and is always available and ready to help,” Regroup clinician Dr. Jacob Samander says. “They are encouraging and knowledgeable – it gives me a feeling of someone always having my back.”
Post-launch: Maintaining Technology and Program Performance
Once your telepsychiatry program is live, ongoing management is critical to operating efficiently, maintaining session quality and avoiding lost billings. A telemental health company who provides dedicated IT support can be vital when addressing questions quickly to minimize downtime. Establishing an ongoing relationship also supports seamless program growth, making it much easier to onboard new staff or expand to new locations.
Did you know? Regroup provides dedicated technical support and hands-on guidance for each facility long after a telepsychiatry program launches. Instead of having to deal with a massive, automated help line, staff and clinicians can contact a real person who already knows their system and processes, helping to resolve questions quickly and effectively. That support extends beyond servicing its own systems: Regroup opens tickets with a facility’s in-house IT team, even if the issue is not theirs, and works with the partner until the issue is resolved.
An Invaluable Aspect of Continuous Program Success
Ultimately, the role of a telepsych partner is to enable clinicians to provide high-quality clinical care to patients. Having customized, one-on-one support to empower clinicians and ensure session quality is invaluable. With the right partner, the right equipment and the right training, your telepsych program can benefit your patients, staff and bottom line.
Contact Regroup to learn more about its customized approach when partnering with health care entities and deploying integrated telepsychiatry services.