Senior Life Solutions began utilizing telepsychiatry over 10 years ago and now is at the forefront nationally. Each of our programs has the telepsychiatry capability to ensure our patients receive the best continuum of care possible. We have partnered with several academic institutions to develop a best practices model for both the patients and providers. This system has become a benchmark in the industry and we continue to enhance based on the continued improvements in technology.
We, in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Tennessee, Memphis Campus, are pleased to work with you to pilot the first telepsychiatry medical directorship over outpatient psychiatry programs. There are many successful examples of telepsychiatry already in the literature with no negative reports that we have found. Telepsychiatry may not be ideal, but is "the next-best thing to being there."
There is a Geriatric manpower crisis right now. We have seen many Geriatric Programs being staffed by Child Psychiatrists (also a shortage area) or Nurse Practitioners. The problem was highlighted in a recent Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, with a new Mental Health Manpower report authorized.
Our scheduling and record keeping system for this program will try to mimic the natural work flow of an outpatient unit. We plan to use our electronic medical record system at UT Medical Group for our notes, orders, and professional billing. We will provide distance learning through telepsychiatry (lectures and staffing). We hope to eventually engage residents in patient care.
Kenneth Sakauye, MD
Professor and Chief of Geriatric Psychiatry, University of Tennessee
For more information, visit uthsc.edu/psych.