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Frequently Asked Questions

Tele-Behavioral Health

What’s different about your appointment today? 

You will meet with a psychiatrist who will be live on a video screen in front of you. You will be able to talk to each other just as you would in person. This is a very similar experience as using Skype or FaceTime. Your psychiatrist is licensed to practice and they will provide the same care as they would if they saw you in person. The psychiatrist will ask you questions to evaluate your mental health needs, and record this information confidentially. 

Is it safe?  

Yes, your visit is completely safe and private. Visits are not recorded. The video system used to host your session today is protected – this means that only you, the staff member in the room with you (when they are in the room), and the clinician on the video screen can see or hear what you communicate (text, sound, video) in session. The same rights to confidentiality apply as to regular, in-person sessions. 

Is it effective? 

The psychiatrist you will see today is highly trained and qualified. You can ask your psychiatrist any questions you have; they are here to help! If you have questions after your session, please ask the PHC Behavioral Health staff. If you are ever unhappy about the care you were provided by a team member over video, please notify a PHC team member or supervisor. 

What are the benefits? 

Shorter wait to see a clinician to discuss medication. Convenient: you don’t have to go to more than one place for appointments. 

Research shows that video appointments can be as helpful as regular appointments. Here are some benefits you can expect from your video appointment: 

  • Shorter wait times compared to in-person and local clinicians.
  • Convenience. You will come right to our office for your video appointment. 
  • Better coordination of your care. The clinician you’ll see over video will coordinate with the PHC Medical teams for care.
  • A trained staff member at PHC will help you start and end the video appointment. That person will also be able to answer your questions about the video appointment to help you feel comfortable in this new and innovative clinician space. 

What are the risks?

As with any health professional appointment there may be risks associated with the use of tele-psychiatry and/or tele-behavioral health counseling. These include, but may not be limited to: 

  • On rare occasions, technology failure may occur, resulting in an interruption or delay.  If these issues cannot be resolved, your visit may be conducted over the phone or you may need to be rescheduled. 
  • While rare, security protocols can fail, causing a breach of privacy of your confidential medical information. By law, this breach must be reported to you. 

What are your alternatives to the use of tele-behavioral health services?  

If you decide tele-behavioral health services are not for you, traditional face-to-face sessions remain an option, as soon as an in-person clinician is available to see you. Travel to this clinician may be needed. 

Passamaquoddy Health System Programs