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Enhancing Mental Health Care: The Key Components of a Successful Telepsychiatry Program

By: | Tags: , , , , , , | August 2nd, 2023

In recent years, mental health disorders have become a pressing concern for healthcare providers and policymakers. A staggering 26% of Americans suffer from diagnosable mental and substance use disorders, emphasizing the urgent need for accessible and effective mental health treatment options. In response to this growing demand, telepsychiatry has emerged as a powerful solution, breaking down barriers to care and providing opportunities for quality treatment to those in underserved areas.

Importance of Mental Health Treatment

Untreated mental health conditions can severely affect an individual’s overall well-being, affecting personal relationships, work productivity, and physical health. By providing accessible and timely mental health care, telepsychiatry plays a vital role in improving the quality of life for patients.

The Rise of Telepsychiatry

With an alarming rise in mental health conditions in recent years, the traditional in-person approach to mental health treatment has proven insufficient in meeting all patients’ needs. Telepsychiatry offers an alternative by harnessing telemedicine to deliver mental health services remotely. This approach ensures that patients receive quality care regardless of their geographical location, making it particularly beneficial for individuals in underserved and rural areas. Developing a successful telepsychiatry program requires key components that support both patients and physicians and include the following:

Diversified Evaluation and Treatment Offerings

A successful telepsychiatry program must provide diversified evaluation and treatment offerings to cater to the unique needs of different patients and mental health emergencies. These include the evaluation and treatment of suicidal and homicidal ideations occurring in the context of mental health disorders, severe depression, manic episodes, anxiety, and more. By offering a wide range of services, telepsychiatry can effectively address various mental health conditions, ensuring comprehensive patient care.

Required Technology

The backbone of any telepsychiatry program is robust and secure technology. A successful telepsychiatry program will invest in HIPAA-compliant telemedicine platforms, ensuring patient data privacy and confidentiality. A user-friendly interface for both patients and physicians is vital to facilitate smooth communication during virtual sessions. Additionally, integrating electronic health records (EHRs) ensures seamless documentation and continuity of care.

Licensing and Credentialing

Licensing and credentialing are critical to ensure that telepsychiatry services adhere to state and federal regulations. Telepsychiatry providers must be licensed in their home state and the state where their patients reside, ensuring compliance with regional legal requirements. Proper credentialing of physicians guarantees that patients receive care from qualified and experienced mental health professionals.

TeleSpecialists’ TelePsychiatry Services

We offer an exceptional TelePsychiatry service that provides access to cost-effective care, better patient outcomes, increased patient satisfaction, and supports improved patient throughput. We work diligently with our partner facilities to ensure their team and patients receive quality results.

Our board-certified psychiatrists are available 24/7 and, in addition, our broad range of TelePsychiatry services will aid in the evaluation, stabilization, and disposition of a variety of mental health emergencies, including:

  • Suicide attempts or self-injurious behaviors
  • Suicidal ideations
  • Homicidal ideations
  • Acute agitation
  • Severe depressive episodes
  • Manic episodes
  • Acute psychotic episodes
  • Severe anxiety
  • Involuntary commitment evaluations/referrals
  • Severe adverse reactions related to psychotropic agents
  • Co-morbid substance use disorders

A successful telepsychiatry program is a powerful tool for addressing the rising prevalence of mental health disorders and bridges the gap between patients and mental health care providers, ensuring quality care is accessible to all.

If your facility would like to implement a telepsychiatry service and improve its mental health services, we are here to help. Contact us to learn more about our TelePsychiatry services.

Nattasha Acevedo, MD

Dr. Acevedo received her medical degree from the Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico and did her neurology residency at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. She went on to do a clinical neurophysiology fellowship at Emory School of Medicine in Atla nta, Georgia and then joined private practice in Fort Myers, Florida. She currently resides in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She likes running, paddle boarding and spending time with family.

Bernadette Borte, MD

Dr. Borte received her medical degree from St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine in Grand Cayman. She completed her neurology residency at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, Iowa. Her areas of interest include inpatient neurology and acute stroke. When not working, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her family. Dr. Borte joined the TeleSpecialist family in March of 2019.

Mazen Almidani, MD

Dr. Almidani is board certified in pediatrics by the American Board of Pediatrics and board certified in epilepsy, as well as neurology with special  qualification in child neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.  Dr. Almidani is happily married with 4 children. His oldest son has autism and his daughter has complicated seizures; both were a drive for him to become a neurologist. Dr. Almidani enjoys soccer, running and spending time with his family. He is very involved with his sons’ therapy and helping with daily challenges. He is double board certified in Pediatric and Adult Neurology and Epilepsy. He sees children and adults. He also participates in charities for children in Syria who may be underprivileged and/or affected by the war. Dr. Almidani joined TeleSpecialists in August 2020.

Amanda Cheshire, MD

Dr. Cheshire received her medical degree from the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Louisville, Kentucky. She completed her neurology residency at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. She did a fellowship in neurophysiology at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Dr. Cheshire is double board certified in neurology and clinical neurophysiology. She enjoys traveling, reading and music. She currently resides in Viera, Florida.  Dr. Cheshire joined TeleSpecialists in June 2019.

Jessica Floyd, MD

Dr. Floyd completed her neurology residency at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida followed by fellowship training in clinical neurophysiology with focus in EEG and epilepsy at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina. She has particular interest in hospital neurology and patient education as well as the blossoming specialty of lifestyle medicine. She strives to take advantage of every encounter with patients and medical staff to empower them to do their own research into how daily thoughts, choices, and habits can add up to create greater and longer-lasting brain and neurologic health for ourselves and our loved ones. She lives in Florence, South Carolina with her awesome husband of 13 plus years and three beautiful children. She is an avid yogi, astrologer, and lover of food and all things neurology! Dr. Floyd joined the TeleSpecialist family in July 2017.

Nancy Futrell, MD

Dr. Futrell received her medical degree from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. She also did her neurology residency at the University of Utah as well as a research fellowship in cerebral vascular disease at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida. She currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah. She has authored 2 books and 50 peer reviewed papers. 

Rebecca Jimenez-Sanders, MD

Dr. Jimenez Sanders received her undergraduate degree from Emory University, and her medical degree from the San Juan Bautista School of Medicine in Puerto Rico. She completed her neurology residency at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida, where she also did a specialized headache medicine and facial pain fellowship. She currently resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband and her two daughters. She is also fluent in Spanish and Italian languages, and enjoys photography, baking, boating, and biking.

Cory Lamar, MD

Dr. Lamar received his medical degree from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. He completed his internship and residency at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Following residency, he completed a clinical fellowship in neurophysiology, with a concentration in epilepsy. He currently resides in Florida and enjoys outdoor activities.

Clifford Meyers, MD

Dr. Meyers received his medical degree from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island and his MBA from the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York. He completed his neurology residency at the University of Rochester, where he also did a neurophysiology fellowship. Dr. Meyers resides in Webster, New York with his wife and daughter. When not doing teleneurology, he enjoys playing sports with his wife and daughter.

Tao Tong, MD

Dr. Tong received her medical degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine in Miami, Florida. She completed her neurology residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida, where she also did a neuromuscular/EMG fellowship.  She currently resides in College Station, Texas. Dr. Tong is married with two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and reading.

Shubhangi Chumble, MD

Dr. Chumble attended BJ Medical School. She is a board certified neurologist with a subspeciality interest in sleep medicine. Dr. Chumble did her residency at Howard University in Washington DC and has practiced neurology since 2001 in private and corporate settings. She lives in Melbourne, Florida and loves the sunshine state. Her hobbies include yoga, meditation, cooking , traveling and meeting new people. She also loves to do stained glass, pottery and painting. She joined TeleSpecialists in June 2019.