Thanks to an ongoing shortage of psychiatrists in Idaho, patients are often unable to seek help for mental or behavioral health issues until the condition has become severe enough to require hospitalization. In an effort to provide relief, Saint Alphonsus Health System has partnered with the University of Washington to create a telepsychiatry program, bringing psychiatric residents virtually to rural Idaho and Oregon.
As explained by Saint Alphonsus CEO Rodney Reider, patients in rural clinics or hospitals are connected weekly with third or fourth year residents through a video call. The overall result is an expansion of the responsive and preventative mental health services available throughout the rural areas, as well as educational experiences for the physicians-in-training.
As an added benefit, improving patients’ mental and behavioral health also leads to improved physical health. Psychiatric issues are a frequent complication of chronic diseases; treating the behavioral and mental health issues can have a direct bearing on the condition of chronic disorders.
To read more about the program, click here.
To learn how swyMed can be used for telepsychiatry, contact us online here.