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EMERGENCY DEPARTMENTS: What is telepsychiatry?

The state of North Carolina is going to fund a two-year statewide telepsychiatric program which is intended to help community hospitals improve care for patients who present in the emergency department with psychiatric problems.  The model for this program was developed by Albemarle Hospital Foundation (Elizabeth City, NC), which set up prototypes in Vidant Health hospitals.  After patients have been assessed for underlying medical problems, telemedicine consults are available between 8 am and 6 pm every day.  Observations from this early experience are reported in this article.

Source: Telepsychiatry program eases patient crowding in the ED, expedites mental health services to patients and providers.  ED Management;25(11):121-125, Nov. 2013.  Click here for access to a press release about this program (and links to more indepth information): http://www.ncdhhs.gov/pressrel/2013/2013-08-16_Gov_McCrory_Announces_Mental_Health.htm  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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