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Telemental Health

UC San Diego partners with family medicine clinics and rural hospitals to provide TeleMental Health services to rural and underserved areas of California. Primarily consultative in nature, we work with the primary care providers and mental health workers in respective sites to provide excellent and timely psychiatric care in places where there are limited resources such as the Imperial Valley of California. While developing and perfecting our ability to connect from clinic to clinic and clinic to hospital, we are actively expanding TeleMental Health to include direct care to patients through video visits and enhancing our ability to provide care to patients within San Diego.

Partnership Sites

Barton Health Systems of South Lake Tahoe

barton-clinicUC San Diego has provided Tele-Mental Health services to Barton Health Systems of South Lake Tahoe on our current contract since 2015, and is a proud partner in treating this underserved community. We provide consultative services to the Barton Health Systems Community Clinic, working with nurse practitioners and primary care physicians to diagnose and treat a variety of mental health issues within this community. As of 2019, UCSD is also beginning to provide consultative Tele-Mental Health services to the hospital and emergency room for this system as well.

“Our Telemedicine department offers psychiatry and psychology services to a wide range of insured and non-insured adult patients. We are located in a remote mountain area where access to mental healthcare is limited and challenging for our community. Due to the nature of being a rural resort town, we serve not only a local but a seasonal population. Therefore, we are proud to offer long distance communication with our team of dedicated outside providers via Telehealth. ” – Barton Health Systems

Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo

Las Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo is a Federally Qualified Health System located within Imperial County, CA, providing primary care services to a large portion of the population of >180,000 people residing in this county. UCSD provides direct Tele-Mental Health care to the patients of 6 of the clinics within this county – El Centro, Brawley, Calexico, West Shores, Niland, and Winterhaven. At UCSD, we are also proud to work with Las Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo to expand the knowledge of Tele-Mental Health and rural psychiatric care by supervising both Nurse Practitioners and Psychiatric Residents to provide these services. Future plans with this clinic include the implementation of teletherapy in order to further augment the excellent service the clinic is already providing.

University of California, San Diego Vidyo Visits

As an effort to increase access to mental health within the UCSD patient community, and allow for patients to be seen for psychiatric visits on their own schedules, we have piloted the use of Vidyo Visits for existing patients of our Outpatient Psychiatric Services Clinic in Hillcrest. This service utilizes the electronic medical record, EPIC, and the patient-portal, MyChart, to allow patients to be seen for psychiatric services from the comfort of their own home or work environments. The Tele-Mental Health team, led by Dr. Thackaberry and Dr. Koh, have developed policies and procedures for the use of this service for the UCSD department of psychiatry, and are hopeful that this service can be implemented department-wide. Future plans with this service include implementation of teletherapy in addition to medication management.