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J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol ; 31(7): 464-474, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1429159


Objectives: To describe the development of a protocol and practical tool for the safe delivery of telemental health (TMH) services to the home. The COVID-19 pandemic forced providers to rapidly transition their outpatient practices to home-based TMH (HB-TMH) without existing protocols or tools to guide them. This experience underscored the need for a standardized privacy and safety tool as HB-TMH is expected to continue as a resource during future crises as well as to become a component of the routine mental health care landscape. Methods: The authors represent a subset of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Telemental Health Consortium. They met weekly through videoconferencing to review published safety standards of care, existing TMH guidelines for clinic-based and home-based services, and their own institutional protocols. They agreed on three domains foundational to the delivery of HB-TMH: environmental safety, clinical safety, and disposition planning. Through multiple iterations, they agreed upon a final Privacy and Safety Protocol for HB-TMH. The protocol was then operationalized into the Privacy and Safety Assessment Tool (PSA Tool) based on two keystone medical safety constructs: the World Health Organization (WHO) Surgical Safety Checklist/Time-Out and the Checklist Manifesto. Results: The PSA Tool comprised four modules: (1) Screening for Safety for HB-TMH; (2) Assessment for Safety During the HB-TMH Initial Visit; (3) End of the Initial Visit and Disposition Planning; and (4) the TMH Time-Out and Reassessment during subsequent visits. A sample workflow guides implementation. Conclusions: The Privacy and Safety Protocol and PSA Tool aim to prepare providers for the private and safe delivery of HB-TMH. Its modular format can be adapted to each site's resources. Going forward, the PSA Tool should help to facilitate the integration of HB-TMH into the routine mental health care landscape.

Adolescent Health Services/organization & administration , COVID-19 , Child Health Services/organization & administration , Clinical Protocols/standards , Home Care Services , Mental Health Services/organization & administration , Patient Safety , Privacy , Telemedicine , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Computer Communication Networks/standards , Delivery of Health Care/methods , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Home Care Services/ethics , Home Care Services/standards , Home Care Services/trends , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/ethics , Telemedicine/methods , United States
J Contemp Psychother ; 51(1): 1-7, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-893312


COVID-19 restrictions have necessitated child/youth mental health providers to shift towards virtually delivering services to patients' homes rather than hospitals and community mental health clinics. There is scant guidance available for clinicians on how to address unique considerations for the virtual mental healthcare of children and youth as clinicians rapidly shift their practices away from in-person care in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, we bridge this gap by discussing a six-pillar framework developed at Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, for delivering direct to patient virtual mental healthcare to children, youth and their families. We also offer a discussion of the advantages, disadvantages, and future implications of such services.