Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services in Pasadena has teamed with a Texas-based telepsychiatry provider to help address the mental health needs of at-risk children, organization representatives said Wednesday.
Hathaway-Sycamores has enlisted the assistance of Iris Telehealth to contract with caregivers to provide remote assistance to young patients amid “a national shortage of pediatric psychiatrists,” Hathaway-Sycamores said in a written statement.
“Through Iris Telehealth, Hathaway-Sycamores gained access to high-quality providers from across the country to help support their Los Angeles-based patient population,” the statement said.
With the onset of the pandemic, Hathaway-Sycamores had to adapt and pivot to adjust to social distancing requirements, representatives said. Telehealth has been a valuable tool.
“For psychiatric services at Hathaway-Sycamores, this pivot has been extremely successful, in part, because the department already had experience with remote care thanks to their four-year partnership with Iris Telehealth,” according to the statement.
One of the providers, Dr. Lopez Rosario, said telehealth has quickly become invaluable.
“Telehealth has become essential in the provision of mental health services,” she said. “Severe, chronic mental illness as well as newly developed stress, anxiety and depression during the pandemic can be addressed and treated using a telehealth platform while limiting the exposure risk inherent in an in-person clinic visit.”
“In our line of work, a safe virtual space has been the bridge that has made quality medical care accessible to the underserved communities,” Rosario added.
Under a telehealth model, cancellation and no-show rates for appointments have declined from about 25% to about 15%, according to the organization.
And while the practice may have expanded due to the pandemic, Hathaway-Sycamores Director of Medication Support Chad Scott said he believed the trend is here to stay beyond the pandemic.
“We have found that there is a portion of our population that we can safely treat from home via their laptops or tablets and that will benefit from continued telehealth from home care,” he said.
More information on Hathaway-Sycamores is available online at hathaway-sycamores.org.
More information about Iris Telehealth can be found at iristelehealth.com.