RANDOLPH, Vt.—In an effort to improve access to effective mental health treatment, a challenge across Vermont and nationally, Gifford Health Care has partnered with Alpine Telehealth to bring psychiatric services to Emergency Department patients via video conferencing.
Per the partnership agreement, telepsychiatry services are available at the Gifford ED and hospital inpatient departments 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Services are provided using video chat on a web-based platform that is fully secure, encrypted, and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA)-compliant.
“Mental illness affects many individuals in our communities, and Gifford is committed to creating solutions that improve access to effective treatment for our patients,” said Gifford Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joshua White, an ED physician. “By partnering with Alpine Telehealth, we are able to connect our patients in crisis with the help they need, faster, thereby reducing long waits in the ED and delays in receiving treatment due to the limited number of psychiatric beds available across the state.”
Alpine Telehealth was founded by Dr. Mark McGee, a board-certified psychiatrist who previously served as CMO of Brattleboro Retreat.
“Access is the No. 1 barrier to effective treatment of psychiatric illness, a global health issue that impacts us right here at home,” said McGee, who pioneered the use of telemedicine for inpatient psychiatric treatment while at Brattleboro Retreat. “Geography no longer needs to be a barrier to receiving high-quality mental health care. Telepsychiatry brings medical expertise to individuals where and when they need it, irrespective of the miles between them. This is a real game-changer for how Vermonters receive the care they need.”
Based in Brattleboro, Alpine Telehealth provides telepsychiatry services to hospitals, health centers, educational institutions, and individuals throughout Vermont and New Hampshire. For more information, visit AlpineTelehealth.com or email info@AlpineTelehealth.com.
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Gifford is a community hospital in Randolph, Vt., with family health centers in Berlin, Bethel, Chelsea, Randolph, Rochester, and White River Junction; and specialty services throughout central Vermont. A Federally Qualified Health Center and a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital in the country, Gifford is a full-service hospital with a 24-hour emergency department and inpatient unit; many surgical services; a day care; two adult day programs; and the 30-bed Menig Nursing Home, which was named by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best 39 nursing homes in the country in 2012. The Birthing Center, established in 1977, was the first in Vermont to offer an alternative to traditional hospital-based deliveries, and continues to be a leader in midwifery and family-centered care. The hospital’s mission is to improve individuals’ and community health by providing and assuring access to affordable, high-quality health care in Gifford’s service area.