+ Clinical efficacy
Telepsychiatry is as effective as face-to-face psychiatric treatment.
The study evaluated the efficacy of telepsychiatry through video-conferencing in comparison to face-to-face conventional (F2FC) treatment. About 140 patients were randomly assigned to either F2FC treatment or video-conference telepsychiatry treatment. The study demonstrated that the video-conference telepsychiatry treatment was as effective as F2FC psychiatric treatment, and can be a significant channel for providing mental health services to psychiatric patients residing in underserved and rural communities with limited mental health resources.
+ Access to underserved communities
Telepsychiatry is a significant channel for providing mental health services to underserved communities and populations with limited resources.
“The provision of psychiatric treatment via live interactive video-conferencing, frequently termed telepsychiatry, is a viable option for psychiatrists to provide care to individual patients, populations, and communities faced with limited access and to move the point of care delivery into patients’ living environments.”
Telepsychiatry is effective for treating various populations, mental disorders and in different clinical settings.
Literature review that demonstrated the efficacy of telemental health services for diagnosis and assessment, across a range of populations including adult, child, geriatric, and ethnic, and in disorders in many various settings including emergency and home health. The review also highlighted that telemental services are clinically equivalent to in-person care, and complement other services in primary care.
Telepsychiatry is an effective mental healthcare service model for individuals who cannot access traditional mental health services.
“Telemental health (TMH) has established a niche as a feasible, acceptable, and effective service model to improve the mental healthcare and outcomes for individuals who cannot access traditional mental health services. TMH offers a spectrum of tools to unite primary care physicians and mental health specialist in a mind–body view of patients’ healthcare needs and to activate patients in their own care.”
+ Patient satisfaction
High patient endorsement for telepsychiatry.
“Parents endorsed high satisfaction with their children’s telepsychiatric care, with an indication of increasing satisfaction upon return appointments... Telepsychiatry offered through a regional children’s hospital was well utilized and parents were highly satisfied with their children’s care. The stage is now set for integrating telepsychiatry into a system of care that meets youths’ overall needs...”
Increased patient satisfaction observed when using telepsychiatry.
“Benefits of telepsychiatry include diagnostic accuracy and service satisfaction, which have been found to be comparable between in-person and telepsychiatry assessment. For example, patients speak freely when using telepsychiatry, are willing to use it again, and positively rate their experiences with providers. Patients also prefer telepsychiatry over waiting a longer period of time to see a specialist or traveling a significant distance for an appointment. Moreover, telepsychiatry can reduce absenteeism (work, school), enhance sense of patient choice and control, and spare patients from long, expensive, and life-disrupting journeys.”
+ Cost-effective model of care
Telehealth initiatives have demonstrated 25% reduction in bed days, 19% reduction in hospital re-admissions and 56% total utilization reduction for depression.
+ TeleED: Point-of-care testing
TeleED is associated with reduced physician-related ED medication errors and serves as an innovative point-of-care delivery model in rural EDs.
"The use of telemedicine to provide pediatric critical care consultations to rural EDs is associated with less frequent physician-related ED medication errors among seriously ill and injured children. Therefore, this model of care may improve patient safety in rural hospital EDs." Telemedicine can avoid unnecessary transfers from rural hospital emergency departments to urban hospitals.
"Access to emergency treatment in rural areas can often mean the difference between life and death. Telemedicine technologies have the potential of providing earlier diagnosis and intervention, of saving lives and of avoiding unnecessary transfers from rural hospital emergency departments to urban hospitals. This evaluation study demonstrates the potential value of telemedicine use in rural emergency departments to patients, rural hospitals and rural communities."