Let’s talk a little about what’s right with our Veterans Affairs mental health services. I just wanted to share with you the finding of a large-scale study about the VA telemental health program–it performs better than face-to-face sessions. It “dramatically reduced hospital admissions and total hospital days,” according to Dr. Linda S. Godleski, quoted in the June 2012 issue of Clinical Psychiatry News. Dr. Godleski is the director of the national telemental health center for the Department of Veterans Affairs and a psychiatrist at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.
The major finding is that mental health care delivered by the VA telemedicine system cut psychiatric hospitalizations by 24% compared with face-to-face practice.
The data are from a review of almost 100,000 VA telemental health patients who were treated between 2007-2010.
See link VA’s Telemental Health Efficacy Surpasses Face-to-Face Encounters : Clinical Psychiatry News for the story in the on-line version of Clinical Psychiatry News.