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Since mankind was industrialized, doctors have actively sought ways of enhancing patient care. Today, we have telemedicine, a recent innovation that is finding its way to hospitals and private practices everywhere. In fact, one of our customers in the medical field, The Apractis Clinic, uses our software for this purpose exactly.
But what about psychiatry? Sure, it’s part of the larger field of medicine, but instead of dealing with physiological symptoms, you’re wading through their mind, making observations and arriving at a diagnosis once enough pieces of the puzzle have come together to build a larger picture. Problems can take months, even years, to solve. Can video offer something to a psychiatrist?
We recently conducted a case study with one of our customers, Dr. Chanel Helgason, a psychiatrist who runs a private virtual practice called Synergenius. Stay tuned for her case coming out next week. But in the meantime, we learned more about this field and wanted to share some ways that cloud meetings can help the field of psychiatry more generally.
Introverts tend to be very, well, introverted. Social situations drain their energy and they’re often more comfortable in their own home. Here’s a situation where meeting through video actually creates the perfect environment for an introvert to be able to express him/herself freely.
Similarly, people with anxiety disorders or agoraphobia will also be more comfortable meeting from their own homes instead of venturing to your office. While the doctor may want to eventually encourage these patients to push themselves to experience new places, a virtual appointment is a great way to start.
This is perhaps one of the biggest arguments demonstrating that telepsychiatry might be more effective than an in-person visit. Your patient’s state of mind is reflected and impacted by his/her environment. Patients going through a rough patch often have disorganized houses with lots of chaos. There are many things they wouldn’t tell you directly, but they might inadvertently show you by allowing you to see where they live. You can even ask them for a tour if they seem comfortable with you.
The fact that you can meet with patients through video means that you can even offer some sessions after office hours, when you are no longer willing to meet in person. This gives you the freedom to do as you please with your schedule. Squeezing in a Saturday meeting is no longer so complicated. What’s stopping you from having in-person meetings three days of the week and virtual meetings for two?
With our calendar integration, you can set the calendar up to notify you before the meeting starts, allowing you to tidy up and gather the documents you need. It’s like having a personal assistant that never forgets anything!
When you use cloud video conferencing, the phrase “the doctor is in” takes on a whole new meaning. This time, you can be “in” without actually being… in…
Our mobile apps allow you to step outside the office and meet with patients without having to bolt yourself down to your desk. This means you don’t have to delay vacation plans or drive to your office.
When you meet in person with a patient, you have to take notes to remember more important points of the session later. If they’re talking quickly and there’s something you didn’t jot down, you’d better hope that you have a good memory.
During a cloud meeting, you no longer have to rely on your hippocampus to remember everything you see and hear. You can simply click the “Record” button and concentrate on conversing with your patient, provided that he/she is comfortable with being recorded.
After the session is over, you can review it in your favorite media player and see if there’s anything crucial there you might have missed.
With the possibility of meeting anyone, anywhere, at any time, you no longer have to stick to your local area. There are many people in need of a psychiatrist who may not find a good one in their own towns or cities. Rural areas suffer the most from a lack of proper therapeutic resources. Your presence in these areas might allow you to help do some good there.
Cloud meetings open horizons not only for you, but for those who cannot easily access a psychiatrist around the world.
There are many ways in which telepsychiatry is just as good as receiving your patient in the office. In fact, one could argue that it is sometimes more effective to use of telepsychiatry. With the advent of portable technologies like smartphones and tablets, there’s really no reason why using Zoom isn’t on the top of your to-do list!
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