What is a Telehealth Psychiatrist

Telehealth Psychiatrist – Overview

Telemedicine is the method used to provide healthcare from a remote location using advanced communication technology, such as video conferencing. Telehealth psychiatry, also called Telepsychiatry, is a sub-topic under telemedicine. Two-way closed-circuit television for medical treatment, psychiatry, and education has been used by the University of Nebraska Medical Center since 1959. (1)

Telehealth psychiatry provides various mental healthcare services such as psychiatric evaluation, therapies, medication management, and patient education. Telehealth psychiatrists interact directly with patients and provide comprehensive psychiatric support to primary healthcare providers through mental health consultation and care.

Telehealth psychiatrists primarily deliver services in live, interactive sessions. While they may record sessions for clinical documentation with patient consent, the emphasis is on real-time interaction rather than storing videos and images for later use.

Benefits of Telehealth Psychiatrist

Telehealth psychiatrists help meet patients’ healthcare needs with convenient, affordable, easy-to-access mental health services. There are several benefits of using telehealth psychiatrist services, including:

What is a Telehealth Psychiatrist

What is a Telehealth Psychiatrist – Benefits of Telehealth Psychiatrist

  • Bringing mental healthcare to the patient
  • Improving access to mental healthcare in difficult-to-access areas
  • Reducing the time and money spent on trips to the emergency room
  • Helping to integrate behavioral healthcare and primary care for better results
  • Improving continuity of care and follow-up
  • Reducing delays in receiving mental healthcare services
  • Reducing the social stigma associated with mental health issues
  • Lowering time off work, childcare service charges, transportation expenses, etc.
  • Decreasing potential transportation barriers, such as lack of transportation or long traveling distances.

Though some patients may feel awkward or reluctant to talk to their doctor on a screen, studies show that many people are more comfortable with it. Some patients tend to feel relaxed and are willing to be more open as they are comfortable at their home or a convenient local healthcare facility. Additionally, telehealth psychiatrist services will become more popular as more patients get used to their efficiency and convenience.

Telehealth psychiatry allows mental healthcare professionals to treat patients from distant locations. While psychiatrists and clinicians are generally licensed to practice in specific states, recent regulatory changes and temporary measures during the COVID-19 pandemic have allowed for greater flexibility in cross-state telehealth practices, subject to individual state laws.

Though telehealth psychiatry means that the psychiatrist and patient are not in the same room, it can effectively enhance patients’ feelings of privacy, security, and safety in the comfort of their homes.

Effectiveness of Telehealth Psychiatry Services

Various research studies on Telepsychiatry show significant evidence of the method’s effectiveness. These studies have found substantial satisfaction among patients, psychiatrists, and other mental healthcare professionals.

Telehealth psychiatry is considered equal to in-person mental healthcare services regarding diagnostic accuracy, quality of care, treatment effectiveness, and patient satisfaction. Telehealth psychiatry also ensures confidentiality and patient privacy on par with conventional in-person mental healthcare evaluation.

Studies have also shown that the experience of most patients using telehealth psychiatry is good for all age groups, including children, adolescents and adults. Besides this, many patients usually find Telepsychiatry to be preferable to in-person care, such as people with autism or severe anxiety disorders and those with physical limitations.

Telehealth psychiatric services are extremely effective in treating PTSD, ADHD and depression.

Applications of Telehealth Psychiatry

Telepsychiatry is used in various settings, such as outpatient clinics, private practices, hospitals, schools, correctional facilities, nursing homes and military treatment facilities.

Using this innovative technology, patients find it easier to schedule appointments with their psychiatrist or therapist. These appointments are conducted through live video communication technology. You can do this with your regular mental healthcare provider or through any of the companies that offer mental health clinicians for virtual appointments.

However, patients must be careful to plan and be ready for the appointment, just like they would for an in-person visit. Ensure all relevant documents and records are handy, including medical prescriptions and a list of questions for the psychiatrist.

Today, telehealth psychiatry is helping increasing numbers of people by delivering mental healthcare services, even to emergency rooms. Research shows that around 1 in 8 emergency room visits relate to a mental health and/or substance abuse cause, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Most emergency rooms are not equipped to manage such patients due to a lack of certified healthcare professionals on staff, so telehealth psychiatry services are a boon for the mental healthcare industry.

Cost of Telehealth Psychiatry Services

As of the last update, most states in the US have regulations governing private-payer reimbursement for telehealth, with all states offering some Medicaid reimbursement for live video telehealth. The number of states reimbursing for store-and-forward services may vary and is subject to change as policies evolve.


Telehealth psychiatrists are more affordable, effective and convenient than conventional in-person visits to mental healthcare professionals. This technology effectively enhances and expands the scope of mental healthcare services across a wide spectrum of settings, including schools, nursing homes, correctional facilities, and even emergency rooms.

See Also

Telehealth vs Telemedicine

Benefits of Telehealth

How to Become a Telehealth Nurse

Telemedicine Jobs for Physicians

Blue Cross Blue Shield Telehealth Grants

Telehealth Grants

Psychologist vs Psychiatrist

Current Version
March 11, 2024
Updated By
Andrea Morales G.

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