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Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Specialty

Family Medicine

Advisor

DR. THOMAS COLLETTI

Abstract

Telepsychiatry is the practice of delivering psychiatric care to patients from a distance utilizing one or more electronic methods. This practice has been essential to providing mental health services. Studies support the use of telepsychiatry, but it is not without controversy. Benefits include minimizing delays in care, improving access and continuity. Anxiety and depression diagnoses in the U.S. were on the rise well before the pandemic began. Additionally, cases have more than doubled since February 2020. Telepsychiatry serves as an ideal solution to addressing mental health needs before, during, and likely well beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. The utilization of telemedicine necessitates adherence to rigorous standards to avoid the disclosure of protected medical information. There are many logistical challenges to the implementation of telepsychiatry services. Nevertheless, current evidence suggests that virtual medicine will remain an essential component of healthcare delivery even post-pandemic. Medical professionals would do well to consider adopting and refining the best practices.

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