Telemedicine Solution expands the reach of Psychiatric care into rural hospitals

eHEALTH Bureau


The South Carolina Department of Mental Health (DMH) in Columbia is delivering timely, high-quality mental healthcare to remote emergency departments (EDs) statewide using a video communications network powered by Polycom, Inc. [Nasdaq: PLCM]. The DMH’s video network allows patients to have immediate access to the state’s psychiatric network and, at the same time, significantly reduces costs for hospitals.

The DMH telepsychiatry solution has improved access to emergency psychiatric assessment for patients in hard-to-reach, rural areas. It also facilitates a more rapid and sustained recovery for the patients assessed.

The telepsychiatry network is also providing significant travel and related cost savings for the state of South Carolina. A 55-percent drop in the average length of stay for patients in a behavioral crisis resulted into savings in excess of $100,000 in the first six months of telepsychiatry participation


The direct discharge of 40 percent more ED mental health patients following telepsychiatry consultations.

The agency has deployed 16 high definition Polycom

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