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ePoster Presentations

EP-157 - Telepsychiatry for Pediatric Mental Health Emergencies as Standard of Care

Tuesday, May 1
11:55 AM - 12:10 PM
Location: Education Zone, Booth 2416, Screen 4

Session will review a videoconference-based psychiatric emergency consultation (telepsychiatry) service established at an urban-based academic center that was initially evaluated in 2015 as a study comparing telemedicine to usual care involving ambulance transport for in-person psychiatric emergency consultation prior to disposition to inpatient care or discharge home.

After the study revealed the telemedicine-enabled visits had significantly shorter median ED lengths and lower total patient charges and higher patient and provider satisfaction, with no safety concerns based on readmissions within 72 hours, the practice became standard of care.
Telepsychiatry consultations have become the standard procedure for pediatric psychiatric emergencies after the initial study indicated a cost-benefit and a breakeven analysis of 112 patients. The use of telemedicine for psychiatric service consultation grew 100% in the next fiscal year and the model is demonstrating promise for increasing access to other specialized health care needs.

Learning Objectives:

John Frederick Thomas

Director of Telemedicine, Executive Director of ECHO Colorado
Childrens Hospital Colorado, University of Colorado School of Medicine

John F. “Fred” Thomas, PhD, is a healthcare/health policy educator, system designer and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in public health advocacy, eHealth innovation and model development. He is currently the Executive Director of ECHO Colorado as well as the Director of Telehealth Services for Children’s Hospital Colorado. He has academic appointments in the Departments of Psychiatry, Pediatrics and Family Medicine in the Colorado School of Medicine and the Department of Epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health. Prior to this role, he served as the director of Community-Based Mental Health Services and Policy at the University of Texas Medical Branch. During these tenures, he has conceptualized, funded and implemented numerous health innovations along with research protocols to investigate their effectiveness. He received his BBA in finance from Texas State University, his MSSW in services with children and families and his PhD in psychiatric epidemiology at the University of Texas Medical Branch. He is involved in numerous organizations and societies and is recognized as a national thought leader in telehealth, systems of care and population health. His wife, Stephanie, is a clay artist and they have four children.


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EP-157 - Telepsychiatry for Pediatric Mental Health Emergencies as Standard of Care

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