I hope that all of you are healthy, practicing your social distancing and enjoying this extra home time with family. I personally have found my time at home a great source of peace and joy, and noticing things that are happening to my family that I otherwise would not.
While trying to practice social distancing, our practice has had the tremendous opportunity to increase the Telepsychiatry portion of our practice. This has allowed our established and new patients to have their appointments at the convenience of being at home, wearing casual clothes and having the feeling of being safe and comfortable as we converse with subjects that are vital and important, and sometimes topics that are not so important, and having a few sightings, barkings, and meows from our furry family members. The overall experience for the patients has been positive; in short, they really have enjoyed this experience in changing times!
My staff is also finding this mode of our practice a great break from being in our clinic. Of course, they really find our clinic to be a great place to work, but nothing beats being in your slippers, having your pets at your side, and the convenience of working at home. They are experiencing how well the patients are responding to this break from the ordinary way of seeing patients.
There have been some glitches, slow IT servers, and some operator errors (none that I will admit to), but this mode of doing business has been eye-opening, refreshing, and has allowed our patients to connect with us during a time of uncertainty; they have benefited without question, and we have moved them along their journey a little farther down the path of wellness. I look forward to continuing this service on a regular basis, as do the patients. Of course, we will continue to see patients during this time of COVID-19 limitations who really need to see us in person, and we certainly will be able to meet our patients’ requests of seeing them in either setting now and in the future.