Psychiatry and Community Behavioral Health at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is committed to the care of children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral problems and disorders. As part of an integrated program of care for pediatric mental disorders created via collaboration between Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University (OSU), our aim is to partner with patients, families and clinicians to deliver evidence-based behavioral health services in settings relevant to the public’s health, such as primary care offices, hospitals and emergency rooms.
Services Provided via Telemedicine
Readily accessible psychiatric consultation will be offered via telemedicine in the context of a collaborative care relationship with the patient’s clinician of record. The patient’s clinician will typically complete an initial assessment, formulate questions relevant to the consultation request, and then direct subsequent care, with ongoing access to the consultant as needed. For selected cases, medication management may be initiated in partnership with the patient’s clinician.
How does telemedicine work?
Collaborative relationships between psychiatry and physician leaders in participating practices and hospitals will serve as the foundation for this effort. Telemedicine access will be offered contractually, with identified sites having a specified number of consultation slots available for youth identified by the patient’s clinician. Guidelines for case referral criteria and the information that should be collected prior to formal consultation will be established, and the need for ongoing care and consultation will be determined via a shared decision making process between the consulting physician and the patient’s clinician. The goal is a stepped collaborative care model that will encourage clinicians to manage less complicated and more routine cases, with greater telemedicine and specialty input being delivered based on individual case severity, complexity and clinician comfort level.
The Benefits of Behavioral Health Telemedicine
The shortage of child and adolescent psychiatrists is well documented nationally and in Ohio, making novel efforts to improve the impact of existing psychiatric resources all the more important, especially in rural and under served areas. Existing studies and surveys of clinicians document many barriers to specialty referral, with only a minority of referred youth with mental disorders ever seeing a behavioral health specialist. Using telemedicine to deliver mental health services within general medical settings has the potential to improve access to care by decreasing stigma, improving patient compliance with specialty referral and broadening the scope of patients and families who can be effectively managed.
To learn more about the use of telemedicine with Nationwide Children’s Psychiatry and Community Behavioral Health, or to find out how your hospital can partner with us, download the Behavioral Health Services Telemedicine Fact Sheet or please contact:
Phone: (614) 355-0712