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Telemedicine: TelePsychiatry, TelePsychology or TeleTherapy, in a live, secure online video-chat format has proven for years to be an effective way to have sessions with clients. The military has used it for over 25 years, and it has been accepted on the cilivilian side with, in some cases, improved results over in-person sessions.

 

TelePsychiatry: besides having an easy-to-use and secure live video-based telemedicine platform, psychiatrists normally need the ability to access patient's charts, take encounter notes, and be able to prescribe (including controlled substances) during a session. Features that also help psychiatrists with TelePsychiatry include: automatic timing of virtual sessions from when the doctor enters a session; having encounter note templates (SOAP, progress, initial evaluation) available during or after the session, having past encounter notes available for comparison to present note; having the ability to copy a previous note into present note and then modify to reflect patient's current status.

The ability to see a patient's medications and e-prescribe while working on a telemedicine encounter note is useful. Electronic Prescriptions of Controlled Substances (EPCS) is useful too as long as you are aware of federal and state rules.

TelePsychology or TeleTherapy: clinicians prefer using an easy-to-use and secure live video-based telemedicine platform, with the ability to access patient's charts and take encounter notes. The ability for group appointments for IOP and group therapy are often needed by mental/behavioral health practices, as well as the ability for supervision of therapists with dual signatures needed on encounter notes. Sometimes students, interns, or unlicensed personnel meet patients in sessions and need supervision.

With the advent of the iGen and people communicating more through iPhones and other smartphones, feeling more comfortable talking through the devices, mental/behavioral health professionals have to refine existing skills to assist their patients. Having a telemedicine platform with the above mentioned features helps towards towards the goal of assisting patients.

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