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

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
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
2.
J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry ; 2021 Jun 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1263300

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: A consortium of 8 academic child and adolescent psychiatry programs in the United States and Canada examined their pivot from in-person, clinic-based services to home-based telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aims were to document the transition across diverse sites and to present recommendations for future telehealth service planning. METHOD: Consortium sites completed a Qualtrics survey assessing site characteristics, telehealth practices, service use, and barriers to and facilitators of telehealth service delivery prior to (pre) and during the early stages of (post) the COVID-19 pandemic. The design is descriptive. RESULTS: All sites pivoted from in-person services to home-based telehealth within 2 weeks. Some sites experienced delays in conducting new intakes, and most experienced delays establishing tele-group therapy. No-show rates and use of telephony versus videoconferencing varied by site. Changes in telehealth practices (eg, documentation requirements, safety protocols) and perceived barriers to telehealth service delivery (eg, regulatory limitations, inability to bill) occurred pre-/post-COVID-19. CONCLUSION: A rapid pivot from in-person services to home-based telehealth occurred at 8 diverse academic programs in the context of a global health crisis. To promote ongoing use of home-based telehealth during future crises and usual care, academic programs should continue documenting the successes and barriers to telehealth practice to promote equitable and sustainable telehealth service delivery in the future.

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