Telepsychiatry: Introduction | Technical Aspects of Telepsychiatry | Development of Child and Adolescent Telepsychiatry | Clinical Practice of Telepsychiatry | Starting a Telepsychiatry Practice | Obstacles | Research Directions | Summary Points | References
Advances in technology affect many aspects of
daily life, and health care is no exception. A report by the Institute of Medicine (2001), Crossing the Quality
Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century, has
identified health information technology as one of the critical forces
that could significantly improve clinical decision-making, patient
safety, and overall quality of health care in the United States.
The President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health 2003 report Achieving the Promise:
Transforming Mental Health Care in America has
recommended telecommunications technologies as one of the most promising
means of improving access to specialty mental health care. Many
new technologies now contribute to increasing access to mental health
services and to improving the quality of that care. Telepsychiatry
is one of these new technologies that uses interactive videoteleconferencing,
or televideo, to allow a psychiatrist and patient in different locations
to interact in real time for the provision of care that usually
is delivered in person. Child and adolescent telepsychiatry could
substantially change psychiatric practice by bringing services not only
to underserved communities but also to naturalistic settings like
schools and day care, and potentially into patients' homes.
Here, we provide an overview of the development, applications, and
future of child and adolescent telepsychiatry.