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Remote Telepsychiatry Workforce: a Solution to Psychiatry’s Workforce Issues

Abstract

Purpose of Review

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how a remote workforce may increase access to care while reducing physician burnout. We review workforce issues and organizational and individual obstacles for implementing a telepsychiatry workforce including administrative, logistical, and clinical considerations and offer resources for how to overcome barriers that may arise in implementing a remote workforce.

Recent Findings

There is an increasingly unmet demand for mental health services and a shortage in psychiatrists. Burnout may be a key factor contributing to psychiatrists working less, pursuing less acute cases, and leading to worsened outcomes for patients and the psychiatrists themselves. Telepsychiatry provides comparable patient and provider satisfaction and equal outcomes when compared with face-to-face encounters.

Summary

We provided 3 case examples to demonstrate psychiatrists demonstrating successful delivery of care in a range of clinic settings and workplace configurations while optimizing their quality of life and reducing their risk of burnout.

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Acknowledgments

The editors would like to thank Dr. Robert Caudill for taking the time to review this manuscript.

Author information

Correspondence to Jordan S. Gardner.

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Conflict of Interest

Brittany E. Plaven and Peter Yellowlees declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Jordan S. Gardner is a staff psychiatrist for AccessCare which provides telemental health services. Jay H. Shore is the Chief Medical Officer for AccessCare which provides telemental health services. Dr. Shore receives royalties from American Psychiatric Association Publishing and serves on its board of directors.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Gardner, J.S., Plaven, B.E., Yellowlees, P. et al. Remote Telepsychiatry Workforce: a Solution to Psychiatry’s Workforce Issues. Curr Psychiatry Rep 22, 8 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-020-1128-7

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Keywords

  • Remote workforce
  • Telepsychiatry
  • Workforce issues
  • Burnout
  • Telemedicine
  • Telemental health