What Role Does Technology Play in Enhancing Patient Care in Psychology and Psychiatry?


    What Role Does Technology Play in Enhancing Patient Care in Psychology and Psychiatry?

    In the evolving landscape of mental health care, technology has become a pivotal tool for enhancing patient treatment. We've gathered insights from eleven esteemed professionals, including psychotherapists and clinical psychologists, revealing how tech advancements from AI illustration in narrative therapy to automated reminders and electronic prescriptions are revolutionizing their practices.

    • AI Illustration in Narrative Therapy
    • Telehealth Expands Patient Access
    • Interactive Virtual Sessions Engage Children
    • Streamlining Care with App-Based Systems
    • Telehealth for Advanced Cancer Care
    • Journaling Apps Support Mental Health
    • Virtual Sessions Enhance Client Flexibility
    • EHR System Improves Client Consistency
    • Telepsychiatry and Digital Communication Aid Care
    • Telehealth Offers Access and Flexibility
    • Automated Reminders and Electronic Prescriptions

    AI Illustration in Narrative Therapy

    I've incorporated technology, AI specifically, in my practice of narrative therapy. One of the main tenets of narrative therapy is externalization, the idea of separating the person from the problem. By externalizing the problem, folks are able to view it as something separate from themselves, which can empower them to confront and address it more effectively. In practice, I have clients describe their feelings (e.g., anxiety, abandonment, depression, etc.) as if they're characters, and I enter those descriptions into NightCafe or another AI illustrator. This way, clients are able to speak to their anxiety, abandonment, depression, etc., and thus, themselves, with more empathy and compassion.

    Katie Schloss
    Katie SchlossPsychotherapist, LifePath Therapy Associates

    Telehealth Expands Patient Access

    Being an integrative therapist is important. Growth has to involve a period of change, something we help facilitate for our patients. The areas of technology in mental health care have allowed us to embrace the whole human experience in our profession differently. Having a growth mindset has benefited patients' access to appointments outside of typical business hours, patients who reside in remote areas, patients who have limited time because of elder care or child care responsibilities, those with no transportation, and patients can avoid obstacles like weather, parking, or unnecessary costs.

    As a mental health provider, I am now providing much more telehealth services and work with people across state lines. This has allowed patients more flexibility to choose the more appropriate provider for themselves and gives providers the options to work with more patients that fit their specific training qualifications as well. In the end, we all win with more choices in mental health care.

    Christina Harrington-Stutzmann, Lcsw-R, Lmft, Lmhc
    Christina Harrington-Stutzmann, Lcsw-R, Lmft, LmhcLicensed Psychotherapist, Christina Harrington-Stutzmann

    Interactive Virtual Sessions Engage Children

    Technology has been a game-changer for my practice in many ways. For starters, virtual sessions are a lot more interactive because of the emergence of game rooms and interactive screen-share options. This is particularly beneficial to patient care in my practice because I service a lot of children, who often don't have the longest attention spans. Having the option to play a virtual game together or simply look at the same screen in real time fosters a deeper connection in the therapeutic space, even through virtual work.

    Azia Carter
    Azia CarterLicensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Dwellness In-Home Psychological Services

    Streamlining Care with App-Based Systems

    Technology is an amazing way to streamline processes and provide better care. We use an app-based, iPad system (no more receptionist!) so clients feel the comfort of 'checking in' when arriving. Digital platforms allow us to administer robust symptom forms remotely to inform our diagnosis, assessment, and treatment planning. We even use AI to level up report writing, allowing for faster report turnaround and thorough recommendations.

    Lauren Pasqua, Psyd
    Lauren Pasqua, PsydExecutive Director, Connections Child and Family Center

    Telehealth for Advanced Cancer Care

    I work primarily with people living with advanced cancer and their families. Technology, specifically telehealth, has resulted in greater access to care for patients with serious illness, particularly when they are not well enough to travel, have too many other appointments, or are trying to continue working despite their health. I have also utilized technology to develop an app focused on symptom management (sleep difficulties, anxiety, depression, fatigue) for people with advanced cancer that is currently being evaluated in underserved communities.

    Sharla Wells-Di GregorioAssociate Professor of Internal Medicine

    Journaling Apps Support Mental Health

    In addition to virtual therapy sessions and therapeutic apps that provide resources for mindfulness, stress management, and self-reflection, I often recommend journaling apps to my clients as a way to support their mental health journey. These apps provide a convenient and private space for individuals to express their thoughts, emotions, and experiences. With features like customizable prompts, mood tracking, and reminders, journaling apps help my clients cultivate self-awareness, process difficult emotions, and track their progress over time. By incorporating journaling into their daily routine through these apps, my clients can deepen their therapeutic insights and strengthen their resilience between therapy sessions.

    Jancy Mathew
    Jancy MathewCounseling Psychologist

    Virtual Sessions Enhance Client Flexibility

    Technology has enhanced client care throughout our practice. As a child, teen, and family practice, we understand that clients have extremely busy schedules and setting a consistent appointment time can be challenging. Opening the practice to virtual telehealth sessions has allowed for more flexibility with scheduling. Telehealth also allows clients or parents of children to be able to log on to their session during their workday from wherever they are. Technology has also reduced the administrative and operational complications of seeking mental health services. For example, clients can easily access paperwork and medical documents through our portal, which allows for a greater focus on the clients' needs.

    Susan Myket
    Susan MyketPresident and Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Susan Myket, Ph.D., & Associates

    EHR System Improves Client Consistency

    Technology has been really instrumental in my practice. My electronic health record system, in particular, has created a lot of ease for completing online paperwork. The system also provides clients with reminder emails, preventing no-shows and helping to keep clients consistent with their appointments. Text communications have also made addressing client concerns in a timely manner possible.

    Daniela PeroneLicensed Psychologist, Centerpoint Psychology

    Telepsychiatry and Digital Communication Aid Care

    As a psychiatrist, I provide telehealth appointments to patients who cannot travel in person to the office. I also use my phone and email to communicate with patients about appointments and to answer any questions. I have found technology helpful in my ability to care for patients. I use the internet and apps on my phone to check medication interactions and medication side effects. I also use the internet to calculate equivalent doses between different medications.

    Aarti Jerath
    Aarti JerathPsychiatrist, Miami Counseling Center

    Telehealth Offers Access and Flexibility

    The use of technology has significantly impacted my private practice as a psychologist. I can treat clients who do not live close to my office, which allows for more access to care. Telehealth also accommodates people's busy schedules, providing flexibility in where and when they can meet for therapy. Social media technology has also allowed me to spread psychoeducation to others on my specialties while marketing my practice.

    Melissa Jermann
    Melissa JermannClinical Psychologist, Dr. Melissa Jermann Psychology Services

    Automated Reminders and Electronic Prescriptions

    I use technology in many ways in my Psychiatry practice. I have found automated reminders for appointments to be helpful for most of my patients. My patients are able to get in touch with me directly via email or text messages, which they appreciate. I send prescriptions electronically to pharmacies, and hence my patients do not need to carry a paper prescription with them. I send questionnaires and forms electronically for them to fill out as needed for clinical monitoring and other purposes. When my patients need letters or work absence notes, I send those electronically as well.

    Sayanti Bhattacharya Md, MsBoard Certified Adult Psychiatrist, Verve Psychiatry