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A videoconferencing (VC) solution provides psychiatric patients in an acute psychiatric state with access to psychiatric evaluation as close to their home as possible. In addition, VC can enable a 24-hour system where the psychiatric specialists are on hand for patients who are admitted to 24-hour departments at District Psychiatric Centres. The rationale behind a videoconferencing solution includes difficulties in recruiting specialists, minimising travel for patients and carers and the provision of specialist services to remote locations. Studies in Norway have shown that there are no differences between telemedicine and conventional face-to-face methods with regard to quality and satisfaction among patients and professionals. Telepsychiatry has also proved to be cost effective. In order to make a viable system it is important to develop a system for the use of videoconferencing so that it’s easy to involve a specialist directly in a consultation, both when the patient is admitted to 24-hour departments or when the patient is consulted by an ambulatory team. In such a system the specialists can be located in different local sites.
Demonstrator Project team leader: Undine Knarvik
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