• The Telepsychology Role in Crisis Management

    A new era – what to do and how to manage your mental health during a crisis

The administration of Telepsychology consultation services in emergency departments unearths monumental benefits in the areas of satisfaction for patients and staff, increased frugality, and a decrease in hospital admissions. Telemedicine is defined as an outlying provision for healthcare using electronic and communication technology. In the field of psychology and mental health, telepsychology is employed in a vast sense through computers, mobile phones, real time applications, and online services. Technical advances and interventions have evidenced to be effective and are flourishing in innumerable healthcare environments. Various studies endorse the idea that telepsychology applications improve pharmaceutical adherence, health satisfaction, and symptom management.

The field of telepsychology holds great promise in improving the extent and quality of mental health services in emergency situations such as the current coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic; as well as urban, rural, or isolated settings. Emergency telepsychology can supply essential care in rural areas, resulting in improved access to mental health care in the event of a crisis. Emergency telepsychology reduces emergency department overcrowding by providing convenient and efficient health services. Emergency telepsychology is a tool that has been proven to be exceptional for patients and staff; care provided safely and swiftly. The lack of direct access to mental health emergency care, coupled with the inherent overcrowding of non-specialized emergency departments, have prompted the referral models to utilize telepsychology emergency consultations in recent years. Examination of emergency department data reveals that the utilization of telemedicine is more likely to occur in larger emergency departments and rural emergency wards. Various studies conducted examined the differences and similarities between telepsychiatry emergency treatment and face-to-face visits.

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Results from these studies reveal that no statistical significant difference was observed in clinical outcomes. Patients reported a high level of satisfaction and increase level of comfort with telepsychology. Crisis resolution teams (CRTS) strive to provide different methods to combat mental health crises. Ranging from the facilitation of early discharge from hospitals, to home treatment, and rapid assessment are many of the actions provided to improve the quality of care during a mental health crisis. Internet consultations, text messaging and telephone outreach via hotlines have been increasingly used by crisis support services. The assessments of the utilization and effects digital intervention in crisis communication reveal spectacular outcomes. Studies using the technical advances in telepsychology and crisis management reveal that teletherapy for treatment in post-traumatic stress disorders are similar to the symptom reductions when compared to conventional interventions. Telepsychology has blossomed into a reliable and efficient alternative to clinical setting treatments.

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Telepsychology is used for multiple services including patient education, therapy, medication management, and clinical evaluations. Telepsychology is comparable to clinical setting treatment because there is live communication with trained professionals; resulting in a high level of reliability of treatment outcomes and clinical assessments. Previous studies reveal that Telepsychology is safe and cost effective. A tremendous benefit of telepsychology is that it can be utilized in offsite settings to insure patient comfort and empowerment. The services are provided in different settings at the patients’ discretion and availability are positively correlated with telepsychology methods and improved patient outcomes.

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