Varun Choudhary & John Urbach: Technology eliminates barrier to care

Varun Choudhary & John Urbach: Technology eliminates barrier to care

In a mental health crisis, the sooner the intervention by a mental health professional, the better the outcome for the patient. With the advent of telepsychiatry, connecting with care can be as simple as opening an app on a phone.

Technology & Healthcare

Technology continues to be a driving force in the healthcare industry.

And some of the advancements are astounding. For example, doctors can now perform aspects of physical checkups with patients through an iPhone using a secured network and licensed equipment.

Picture a stethoscope that attaches to the camera on the back of your iPhone.

This means that you could get access to healthcare wherever you are and on your schedule.

Earlier this month, Rich Shelton and Judy Jones, Director for Strategic Engagement and Director of Telehealth for Good Neighbor respectively, sat on a panel at the Virginia Association of Health Plans conference to discuss the use of technology in mental health.

Good Neighbor currently serves hundreds of individuals every month across Virginia through our Telehealth program.

The demand for these kinds of services are greater than the number of providers that offer them, yet Telehealth isn’t considered a standard practice for service delivery in our state.

How can the behavioral health industry adopt similar technologies to ensure that the most amount of people get help when they need it?

Our society today is increasingly connected through technology and mobile devices, and usually with an expectation of immediacy and convenience.

It’s only a matter of time before our culture demands the same for all of healthcare services, including mental health.

In the end, the hope is that more and more people would have access to high quality services, regardless of their location or ability to travel.

And more importantly, access when they need it most.

Discovery Channel Episode

Good Neighbor Community Services aired on Innovations with Ed Begley, Jr. via Discovery Channel©. The episode explores recent innovations in science and technology that have revolutionized the way we live.

The episode showcased Good Neighbor’s use of technology, TeleMedicine, and vision to redefine the traditional approach to serving the mental health community by providing individualized and dynamic services.

Watch the full segment on Good Neighbor here:

Good Neighbor on Innovations airing January 23 via Discovery Channel

On Friday, January 23rd, 2015 at 7:30am EST and 7:30am PST, Good Neighbor Community Services will be featured on Innovations with Ed Begley, Jr. via Discovery Channel.

The episode will showcase Good Neighbor’s use of technology, telemedicine, and  “vision to redefine the traditional approach to serving the mental health community by providing individualized and dynamic services.”

In addition, the episode will explore other recent innovations in science and technology that continue to revolutionize the way we live.

Tune in next Friday and visit the Innovations website for more about the TV show and the official press release for this upcoming episode.

Telehealth Summit 2014

Left: Dr. Frank Shelp presenting

Earlier this month, we had the opportunity to attend the Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center Summit 2014 in Fredericksburg, Virginia. It was our pleasure to have our very own COO, Dr. Frank Shelp, moderate the Primary Care and Behavioral Health Integration panel. We enjoyed learning from other organizations about the ways sustainable Telehealth adds value to healthcare as well as having the opportunity to add to the conversation through Dr. Shelp. By continuing to grow in our understanding and practice of Telehealth, it’s our goal to continue to provide better services for individuals and families within our community.

Dr. Shelp’s panel discussed how integrated care is vital to addressing the healthcare needs of individuals with mental health and substance use problems. Integrated care refers to the practice of incorporating behavioral health into the primary care setting and primary care into the mental health and substance abuse care settings for the purpose of improving the quality of care. The panelists included Geoffrey Boyce, Executive Director of Insight Telepsychiatry, LLC, Susie Mullens, Program Director at ATARI, First Choice Health Systems Inc., and Mike Lancaster, Medical Director for Behavioral Health Integration, Community Care of North Carolina