What is Telemedicine?
(Also referred to as Telehealth, Teletherapy or Telepsychiatry)
Telemedicine is a form of video conferencing allowing psychiatrists and therapists to provide services to patients outside of the office, for example at the patient’s home or workplace. It also provides the opportunity for consultation with family members, teachers and other providers involved in the patient’s care. Surveyed patients participating in telemedicine say they are very satisfied with the care they are receiving and that they feel telemedicive is a reliable form of practice. In addition, they find that they are able to keep their appointments on a more regular basis.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry comparing in-office-treatment to treatment via telepsychiatry indicated “There were no statistically significant differences between study groups for symptoms, quality of life, and patient satisfaction... there is a strong hypothesis that videoconference-based treatment obtains the same results as face-to-face therapy and that telepsychiatry is a useful alternative.”
What do Telepsychiatry & Teletherapy Require?
For your appointment, you will need to have access to a private place and a computer/tablet/smart phone with a camera and high speed internet. PCPA will provide you with access to a secure HIPAA compliant videoconferencing software free of charge. All you have to do is be on your device and logged on at the time of your appointment. Is Telepsychiatry & Teletherapy Secure? PCPA ensures the interaction between the patient and psychiatrist/therapist is completely secure and HIPAA compliant. The teleconferencing software encrypts all forms of data, including video and audio.
Telepsychiatry & teletherapy provides the patient with benefits that may lead to better care. We understand it can be difficult to take time off from your busy schedule to come to our office. This form of treatment can eliminate your commute time and lead to less stress, especially when you are scheduled to see your psychiatrist/therapist often. For patients who are usually seen in the office but are sick or traveling, this form of treatment allows you to still keep your appointment without interrupting your care.
"Easy to log in, and very clear audio & video make it an ideal way to communicate. The session was just as effective as any in-person session I've had."
"It was so nice to be able to have my session from my living room!"
"It's so much easier and cost effective for me. I no longer need to cross the Golden Gate Bridge and pay the toll or for parking..."
"Makes it very easy to schedule and keep appointments--was able to fit in an appointment at home before heading to work without needing to take out any additional time in my day."
"It was a convenient way to meet with my doc, especially since I live outside of San Francisco. I was able to meet midday, during my lunch hour at work. Thank you!"
"It's great not to have to leave the office -- I can just book a conference room, take 15 minutes for my appointment, and go on with my day!!"
"Very convenient and useful in terms of easing stress which considering stress is a problem for me, I greatly appreciate!!"
"Transitioning to tele psychiatry has been a seamless experience. The technology works great and was easy to set up. Being able to quickly hop on a video call with my doctor without going to the office and having to take more time away from work is great and has made it much easier to keep my appointments."
"I was a little nervous that the experience would feel strange, but it would up being great! The quality of the video was perfect and the iPhone app was very easy to use."
"I really enjoy using a video conferencing tool to speak with my provider. I feel that it makes it so much easier to book an appointment."