The term typically describes the delivery of psychiatric assessment and care through videoconferencing. Telepsychiatry services can be offered through intermediary companies that partner with facilities to increase care capacities, or by individual providers or provider groups. Most commonly, telepsychiatry encounters take place at medical facilities under the supervision of onsite staff, though at-home models are becoming accepted as long as they are in compliance with HIPAA standards.
The focus of telepsychiatry should always be on the “psychiatry” portion of the word, not the “tele.” Technology is merely a medium for connecting consumers with psychiatric providers like nurse practitioners and psychiatrists.
Years of clinical research studies show that telepsychiatry is an effective means of care an excellent tool for supplementing in-person treatment, especially when psychiatric providers are scarce.