Using telemedicine in mental health emergencies increases access, lowers costs

From Healio:

Using a telemedicine evaluation for pediatric mental health emergencies in ED or urgent care facilities may improve access to mental health services and reduce costs, according to recent study findings presented at the 2016 AAP National Conference and Exhibition.

“Pediatric mental health emergencies represent an escalating segment of pediatric psychiatric emergency services that impacts one in five children,” Alison Brent, MD, of Children’s Hospital Colorado, Aurora, wrote. “Pediatric emergency department and urgent care sites are vital for initial stabilization of patients with [mental health emergencies] in conjunction with evaluation and ultimate disposition by pediatric trained [mental health specialists]. A system that provides safe and timely evaluation of [mental health emergencies] is challenging from a resource perspective, especially when patients present at a site distant from mental health specialists.”

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