Two feet of snow and Baltimore comes to a screeching halt. How to get the doctors to the hospital? This is where telepsychiatry can be very helpful. However, there are still so many impediments to using telemedicine (billing, liability, documentation, technical) that we are *still* unable to use it when we need it. Like today, where the hospital will have to send a 4x4 to pick up Dr Chandran to get him to the hospital.
A broader term for distance mental health services is Telemental Health services, or TMH. Proposed new regulations were released last week that would permit and regulate TMH under the public mental health system (aka Medicaid) in Maryland. Unfortunately, the way it is currently written would not permit me to "see" inpatients on our unit from home during a blizzard. Still, it is a step in the right direction.
For more info on TMH, check out the Maryland Telemental Health website.