For many hospitals and health systems, the emergency room is the front line for care for patients who need psychiatric help. According to the National Council for Behavioral Health, the number of patients going to emergency departments for psychiatric services increased 42% over a recent three-year period. The problem is particularly serious in rural and remote areas where clinicians are scarce. In a recent Regroup survey, 62% of facilities said unmet patient need was their biggest challenge in delivering mental healthcare.
As health systems work to provide high-quality care while containing costs, more of them are looking beyond traditional in-person care delivery to innovative new models. By turning to telepsychiatry, these facilities can connect patients with preventive services, improve cost efficiencies and avoid unnecessary hospitalizations.
In the latest version of our Sector Spotlight series, we focus on how telepsychiatry can deliver both clinical and operational benefits for hospitals and health systems.