July 23, 2023 marks 1 year since the launch of the UNC Health Acute Telepsychiatry Service. This service, which is a collaboration between UNC Virtual Care Services and UNC Department of Psychiatry, provides virtual psychiatric consultation to UNC Health emergency departments and inpatient medical/surgical units at 7 locations throughout the state. The service launched with financial investment by UNC Health Specialty Programs, as well as support from the UNC Physicians’ Network.
As seen in the graphic below, over 1,300 patients received a total of 2,048 consults in the past year. These consultations were conducted by 42 UNC Department of Psychiatry faculty members (see list below). Approximately 29% of consults were conducted on children and adolescents. The average turnaround time (from consult request to note completion in Epic) for an ED telepsychiatry consult was 3.0 hours (Goal is ≤ 4 hours), while the average turnaround time for an inpatient med/surg telepsychiatry consult was 4.1 hours (Goal is ≤ 24 hours). These numbers exceed current industry standards. Feedback from our UNC Health partners who are utilizing the service are overwhelmingly positive, with an 88% satisfaction rating among requesting providers and hospital leadership. The program has been lauded as a success by UNC Health system leadership.
This success would not be possible without the incredible effort of a number of individuals in the Department of Psychiatry. A special mention to Drs. Brandon Goodman and Gary Gala, who were heavily involved in the planning of the service. In addition, Nadia Alamo has done incredible work in assisting with scheduling, onboarding, and coordination of our faculty involved in the service. The service would not have been possible without strong support from Department leadership, including Matt O’Neal and Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody. Finally, the faculty listed below have completed at least 1 shift with ATS over the past year. Your dedication to delivery of high-quality care for these patients is truly what makes the service a success. Thank you!!
Samantha Meltzer Brody