This article describes the benefits and constraints of telemedicine, focusing primarily on the field of psychiatry in the United States with the current system of healthcare. Telepsychiatry is believed to provide better access and higher-quality care to patients who need psychiatric care and cost savings to providers of such care. Telemedicine has been successfully integrated into psychiatric facilities reaching rural areas, prisons, and urban facilities. It has increased the volume of patients that physicians can reach and diagnose, as well as allowing them to treat patients with limitations in mobility. While telepsychiatry has been shown to be beneficial, this technology does have some limitations. Concerns about reimbursement, licensure, privacy, security, patient safety, and interoperability have been identified and present current challenges that providers using telepsychiatry must overcome in order to provide the most effective patient care. As more insurance companies start to reimburse for telepsychiatry treatments at the same rate as for face-to-face visits, this evolving medical field has the potential to grow exponentially.
Deslich, S., Stec, B., Tomblin, S., & Coustasse, A. (2013). Telepsychiatry in the 21st Century: Transforming Healthcare with Technology. Perspectives in Health Information Management, 10(Summer).