Simply put, telepsychiatry allows a person in one location, to interact with a psychiatrist in another location via video/computer technology over a secure line. This is especially helpful for people in rural areas who may not have access to psychiatrists or other qualified mental healthcare providers in their vicinity. Telepsychiatry alleviates the problem of a shortage of psychiatrists in South Carolina, by reducing commute time psychiatrists are able to see, diagnose, and treat more patients.
DMH’s Telepsychiatry Programs have provided more than 78,000 psychiatric services via telehealth. DMH is the largest provider of telepsychiatry services in South Carolina. DMH is also the largest provider of telehealth services in South Carolina.
DMH’s Telepsychiatry Program components include: the Emergency Department Telepsychiatry Program, the Community Telepsychiatry Program, Inpatient Telepsychiatry, and Deaf Services Telepsychiatry.
Deaf Services Telepsychiatry was one of the earliest adopters of video technology, starting in 1996 to use telepsychiatry to meet the needs of patients who wanted direct communication with their doctor or counselors.
The ED Telepsychiatry Program began in 2007 and the Community Telepsychiatry Program began in 2013.
As of February 2018, DMH’s Telepsychiatry Programs provide approximately 2,000 psychiatric services via telehealth per month.