Technology and innovative thinking are helping solve a public health crisis: the shortage of mental health care professionals and a growing need for psychological and psychiatric services. JSA Health is using LifeSize high definition video communications solutions to provide fast and flexible access to emergent, urgent and routine psychiatric evaluation to mental health patients. In its first year of operation, JSA Health has had over 5000 patient encounters using LifeSize HD video.
“We are now serving a growing number of ongoing and on-demand patients in 25 locations and counting,” said Steve Weylandt, CEO, JSA Health. “With LifeSize, we are able to provide care to a much broader range of patients and that’s what makes our work so exciting.”
“LifeSize is proud to be associated with JSA Health and their pioneering use of high definition video in telepsychiatry,” said Craig Malloy, CEO, LifeSize Communications. “It’s a strong statement about the quality of the HD video experience that LifeSize video conferencing products can replicate the face-to-face interaction needed to provide the vital psychiatric care in emergency rooms and clinics.”
“High definition capability allows psychiatrists to meet the need for care in emergency settings; an area of particular shortage,” said Scott Zeller, M.D., vice president, JSA Health.
A shortage of mental health care professionals, especially in rural communities, has caused a significant number of patients to either go without care or in some cases, to wait days or weeks for psychiatric help. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, 184 of the 254 counties in the state have an inadequate number of counselors. JSA Health steps in to provide psychiatric evaluations in emergency rooms, rural mental health centers, schools and jails.
Telepsychiatry, or the idea that psychiatrist and patient connect over internet-based video, is not a new idea, but one that has slowly gained acceptance in the psychiatry community. JSA Health needed a technology enabler. “Ten years ago, physicians saw the need, but the quality just wasn’t there,” said Weylandt. “Bad audio and blotchy pictures – doctors were just not comfortable using it.”
After seeing the superior video quality, flexibility and price performance offered by LifeSize video conferencing systems, JSA Health chose the compact LifeSize® Express™ product for deployment across their care network. Today, JSA Health uses video to treat patients approximately 125 hours per week.
“Telepsychiatry will rapidly become the fastest expanding segment within psychiatry as a whole,” said Avrim Fishkind, president and chief medical officer of JSA Health. “Psychiatrists cannot possibly cover the 4,700 medical emergency rooms, inpatient units and intensive care units in the United States. With LifeSize, in one day, I saw patients in four different Texas clinics that would have required me to drive over 600 miles in my car.”
About JSA Health
JSA Health was formed by internationally recognized psychiatrists with extensive experience in the delivery of psychiatric emergency services, disaster response, and mental health administration. The company was created to provide fast and flexible access to emergent, urgent and routine psychiatric evaluation, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Access to child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrists, as well as substance abuse physicians is increasingly more limited. Waits of weeks or months to see a psychiatrist are common. JSA Health shortens the wait by providing access to psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and social workers within minutes via telemedicine and by providing same or next day assessments via our walk-in psychiatric emergency clinics. More information is available online at http://www.jsahealthmd.com.