Telehealth Psychiatry (HIPAA Compliant Zoom) serving rural Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey
What is Telehealth (Virtual visit) Psychiatry ?
Telehealth or Virtual Visit healthcare, is healthcare provided by any means other than a face-to-face visit. In telehealth services, medical and mental health information is used for diagnosis, consultation, treatment, therapy, follow-up and education. Telephone consultation, videoconferencing, email, robotic text appointment reminders and the use of patient portals are all considered telehealth services.
While face-to-face appointments at our various locations may be convenient for many, patients living in more remote areas of Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey are often not able to come into Philadelphia with ease. Rittenhouse Psychiatric Associates wanted to meet the needs of these populations, and has begun offering HIPAA compliant virtual appointments (initial Psychiatric evaluations, medication management appointments and therapy) for individuals who would benefit from this service. Our group has invested in Zoom software (a platform for virtual appointments) where patients can login using their provider’s credentials, enter a “waiting room,” so their provider sees that they are ready for their appointment, and then be let into their session by their provider (once they finish their visit, with their previous patient). This allows for confidentiality to be maintained, in addition to other security features of Zoom’s HIPAA compliant software.
Are there specific regulations for Telehealth (Virtual) Visits ?
There are specific rules and regulations that pertain to how Telehealth visits can be conducted. For example, providers must be licensed by the state medical or nursing board, where they are both physically located for their patient visit, and where the patient is physically located, for the same visit. All prescribers at Rittenhouse Psychiatric Associates are licensed in the State of Pennsylvania (and thus, we can serve Pennsylvanians living in more remote or rural areas of the state) and many of our providers are also licensed in New Jersey (or are in the process of licensing in New Jersey); Our founder is actually from Southern New Jersey and mitigating the mental health shortage in this area, has been a goal of his since the formation of the practice. We are excited and proud that virtual appointments are allowing us to meet this goal.
What considerations should I make, before making a Telehealth Appointment ?
It is important for patients to be aware of potential drawbacks to virtual visits, when making the decision to set up an appointment. For example, technical issues (on both the provider’s and patient’s ends) can affect visits. When this occurs, visits are transitioned to phone appointments. Another potential issue, is that providers may be less able to read body language, check vital signs, or assess for physical symptoms of medical or mental illness. It is very important, that anyone considering Telehealth (Virtual) appointments at Rittenhouse Psychiatric Associates reviews our Telehealth Consent form and fully discussed appropriateness of care, with our scheduling team.
Call Amy now, at 267-358-6155 x 1. She’ll be happy to pick up the phone and discuss Telehealth at Rittenhouse Psychiatric Associates.