Telepsychiatry program connects students with mental health care

The Times Telegram

The Bassett Healthcare Network is cutting through distance and backed-up appointment books to get quick care for children who need mental health treatment…

…Bassett is likely part of a trend toward both telemedicine and telepsychiatry in particular, said Jean Moore, director of the Center for Health Workforce Studies.

“I think there is increasing interest in the use of telehealth for psychiatry services because it’s just so difficult to attract psychiatrists to many parts of the state,” she said.

And child psychiatrists are the rarest of mental-health providers in rural areas, she said. Bennett, for example, is the only full-time child psychiatrist accepting Medicaid patients in Otsego County, and some counties don’t have any.

The value of telemedicine is not limited to psychiatry, though, as other fields struggle to make better use of the workforce, Moore said. She mentioned as examples another Bassett telemedicine program that monitors high-risk patients in their homes, a teledentistry program that does a lot of the prep work before an in-person visit, and a program through which pediatricians can assess children in day care.

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