We live in a virtual world where the connection from Thailand to Texas is only a touchscreen away. As communications and the internet evolves, so does the ability for us to communicate with anyone in real-time. Psychiatry telemedicine (including online therapy services) was on the rise pre-pandemic and the pandemic pushed almost all of medicine onto the internet.
Pros and Cons of Psychiatry Telemedicine in Mental Health Care
As a psychiatric PA, I see a good deal of my patients via telemedicine. This is a 180 flip from how mental health care was pre-pandemic. Many patients find it challenging to make it to monthly appointments for mental health treatment and medication management. Transportation, working in remote locations, or physical mobility are just a few reasons why it may be challenging to make an appointment in person.
Telemedicine has helped me to reach more patients with different mental health conditions effectively. However, there are some downsides to it, too.
While online psychiatry services provide an effective way for a patient to check in with their provider, they can not always substitute an in-person visit. Video chat is preferable, so I am able to see my patients and how they are appearing—in some cases it can give me insight into the patients living conditions.
However, there are many instances where I need to see a patient in person. Attempting to visualize movement disorders, tracking a patient’s weight, wanting to closely monitor a patient’s appearance changes, or needing in-office tests or injections in-person visits are some areas where telemedicine falls short.
Balance Is the Key to Better Mental Health Services
Ultimately a combination of both telemedicine and in-person visits may be the solution to optimizing care for various mental health issues. We could all use a break from screens every now and then!
For more information on telemedicine or to schedule your virtual visit, contact PNS by calling or today.