Telepsychiatry and CommonGround
by patricia.deegan on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 12:35pm

Recently we had the opportunity to meet with peer staff, clinicians and administrators of CommonGround Decision Support Centers at an advanced training conference in Pennsylvania sponsored by Community Care Behavioral Health.  Each program brought storyboards showing their progress and innovations in providing support for people who are preparing to participate in shared decision making with their psychiatrists.  Among many innovations, we were impressed to hear that CommonGround is now being used in telepsychiatry sessions at Berks Counseling Center in Reading PA.  Here's how it works:

  1. People arrive at the peer-run decision support center (DSC) about a half hour before seeing their psychiatrist.  
  2. At the DSC, peers support folks in using the software to prepare a 1-page health report summarizing health, mental health and recovery progress.
  3. Peer staff assist people in getting information that will empower them to have more empowered conversations with their psychiatrists.
  4. The CommonGround health report is also available to the psychiatrist who is working from a distant telepsychiatry site. The telepsychiatrist can review the report prior to meeting with the individual.
  5. At the appointed time, peer staff show people to a private room equipped with a secure internet channel (vpn), and a computer with video and mic.
  6. The telepsychiatrist and individual proceed with their appointment, referencing the health report and arriving at a shared decision about the next steps in treatment.

 We are truly excited about this new and innovative use of CommonGround in telepsychiatry.  

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