General Session Speakers

Innovations in Telemental Health: expanding reach with limited resources

9:00 AM August 30th
Cara Towle, MSN RN MA, Associate Director, Psychiatry Consulation & Telepsychiatry, University of Washington
Jennifer Erickson, DO, Psychiatrist, Acting Assistant Professor, University of Washington
Doris T. Barta, Director, National Telehealth Technology Assessment Resource Center (TTAC)

Communities in the Pacific Northwest continue to struggle with inadequate access to psychiatric and behavioral health care. Smaller rural communities in particular often face financial, workforce-related, and geographic factors that introduce additional complexities - and, potentially, unique opportunities – in developing and sustaining such systems of care. This presentation will (1) provide an overview and discussion of several innovative telepsychiatry models, (2) provide an overview of the collaborative care model, (3) share novel telehealth-enhanced implementations of the collaborative care model across urban and rural settings, and (4) provide an example of how the collaborative care model has been modified to better fit the behavioral health needs of a group of frontier communities in Montana. Key themes will include when and how to effectively utilize telehealth technology, including peer-to-peer clinician consultation, direct consultant-patient telepsychiatry, and population-based collaborative care management, and strategies and considerations related to financing an integrated care program. As such, it will be relevant to a broad range of professionals, including hospital-based and primary care providers (physicians, nurses, and staff) and those involved in rural clinic and hospital administration, finance, information technology, and systems design.
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