Tag Archives: on-demand

InSight Announces Recipients of Provider of the Year Award

MARLTON, NJ –InSight Telepsychiatry is recognizing the outstanding performance of its providers through its first Provider of the Year Award. Maaz Siddiqui, M.D., a scheduled services telepsychiatry provider, and Suraya Kawadry, M.D., an on-demand services telepsychiatry provider, are the 2018 recipients.

The InSight Provider of the Year Award is an annual award recognizing InSight providers who have displayed outstanding performance during the previous year. The providers are selected based on a number of performance factors, including quality of care, communication skills, flexibility, teamwork and alignment with InSight’s mission. Providers of the Year are celebrated for their exemplary work improving access to behavioral health services to underserved individuals and communities. Winners of the award exhibit excellent customer service to their peers, the staff at the partner sites they serve, the InSight administrative team and, most importantly, patients.

Spotlight on Dr. Siddiqui

The InSight Scheduled Services Provider of the Year Award goes to Dr. Maaz Siddiqui this year for his dedication to his patients and commitment to providing quality telepsychiatry services. Dr. Siddiqui is psychiatrist licensed in Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania and New Jersey (where he resides), and serves primarily partners in outpatient mental health settings. He had an interest in psychiatry throughout medical school and he strongly believes in getting to know his patients, not just prescribing.

“It’s not just a checklist you have to go through,” said Dr. Siddiqui. “I want to know my patients, and I really do enjoy getting to know them.”

He has been with InSight for almost two years. On a typical day, he works 8-9 hours and sees 7-10 patients or more daily. The majority of his work is medication management.

“Dr. Siddiqui has a reputation for being very thorough and time-sensitive to patients’ needs, regardless of how many are on his schedule,” said John DiNicola, InSight’s lead program coordinator of scheduled services. “I can tell when speaking to him that he is passionate about what he does and gives patients the best quality of care—they’re not just a number to him.”

When establishing a provider-patient relationship, Dr. Siddiqui says creating trust from the very beginning is most important. “I’ve heard from other providers that rapport can be a problem, but it isn’t for me,” he said “I let patients know that it might be difficult at first, but I want to establish that trust and rapport from the very beginning, putting their anxiety at ease.”

Dr. Siddiqui is also known for his excellent communication with InSight’s operations team. “He is always quick to inform our operations team of matters that need our attention,” said DiNicola. “He has been a great InSight citizen.”

Spotlight on Dr. Kawadry

The InSight On-Demand Services Provider of the Year Award goes to Suraya Kawadry this year for her hard work and positivity as she increases access to psychiatric care to those in need across the country. Dr. Kawadry is a child and adolescent psychiatrist who lives in Missouri. In the true spirit of telepsychiatry, Dr. Kawadry is licensed not only in Missouri but also Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, New Jersey, Montana, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington. After a per-diem role with InSight during her fellowship, she transitioned to a full-time role working as a crisis telepsychiatrist serving hospitals in the many states where she is licensed.

Dr. Kawadry is regularly complimented for being a pleasure to work with, responsive in her communication, positive and flexible. Dr. Kawadry is always the first telepsychiatry provider to help out her peers by covering shifts when needed.  “The InSight team often hears positive comments from its partners about her,” said April Isik, InSight’s program coordinator of on-demand services.

After she completed her medical school rotations, Dr. Kawadry decided to enter the field of psychiatry since it was the only rotation that she enjoyed and that intrigued her. As an on-demand telepsychiatry provider, Dr. Kawadry now immerses herself in the busy life of a crisis psychiatrist from the comfort of her home. She typically sees 8-13 patients per day in the emergency department or medical floor setting where she does psychiatric assessments and helps to determine the least restrictive and most appropriate level of care for each patient. She also conducts phone consultations with hospital staff to make recommendations regarding orders or disposition.

Dr. Kawadry is well-liked at all of the sites where she works. “She is extremely flexible, responsive and always goes the extra mile,” said InSight scheduler Nicole Prince. “She is great to work with and an even greater person!”

When it comes to clinical care, Dr. Kawadry believes that being a “chameleon” is the most important thing for establishing a provider-partner relationship. “With this line of work, we encounter so many different types of patients in so many different settings,” said Dr. Kawadry. “I think that it is important to always stay true to yourself as a person and as a physician, but at the same time tailor your interview and your demeanor based on the specific patient and setting that is at hand.”

With this honor comes a prize towards attending a professional development conference with InSight and additional public recognition.

“The whole experience of working for InSight has been just wonderful thus far, and I am very grateful,” said Dr. Kawadry. “Receiving this award was certainly a very humbling and rewarding experience.”

A Better Approach to Crisis Behavioral Health

Original article published on Becker’s Health IT & CIO Review

Mark Alter, M.D., InSight Associate Medical Director of On-Demand Services

By: Mark Alter, M.D.

Today’s hospital emergency departments (EDs) are facing a perfect storm of behavioral health challenges. A combination of professional shortages and rapid growth in need for behavioral health services is creating significant supply and demand issues across U.S. communities. The overwhelming reality is that 42.5 million Americans struggle with mental health conditions, and professional shortages exist in all 50 U.S. states.

For many communities, the hospital ED has become one of the primary entry points for behavioral health access. Yet, few EDs are equipped with the expertise to handle the scope and complexities of this evolving challenge, leading to lengthy wait times and overcrowding, especially for patients in needs of psychiatric care.

To improve the outlook, hospitals are increasingly turning to the promise of on-demand telepsychiatry—an approach to care providing psychiatric evaluation or consult as needed via videoconferencing. These forward-looking care delivery models not only improve response times and access to services, but they also positively impact patient satisfaction and the bottom line.

The ED Behavioral Health Challenge: A Deeper Look
Current estimates suggest that one in eight ED visits involves a mental health condition, yet patients in need of evaluation often wait much longer than those in need of general medical care. One report found that 23 percent of psychiatric patients had emergency visits that were longer than six hours and 7 percent waited longer than 12 hours—that’s compared to 10 percent and 2.3 percent of other medical patients respectively. In addition, almost 21 percent of patients in need of an inpatient psychiatric bed wait between two and five days.

In terms of adequate staffing for psychiatric issues, today’s hospitals face the same supply and demand issues as consumers in need of services, especially in rural communities, where the existence of even one qualified psychiatrist is often lacking. EDs typically have limited or non-existent in-house hospital expertise available to them, and patients must wait until an appropriate professional is available. These present-day realities lead to crowded ED waiting areas, protracted waits, and the common practice of “boarding” individuals in need of psychiatric evaluation.

The Growing Influence of ED Telepsychiatry Models
Overall, hospital executives are prioritizing telemedicine models to prepare for value-based care. The “2017 U.S. Telemedicine Industry Benchmark Survey” revealed that 51 percent of executives rank deployment and adoption of telemedicine high strategically.

On-demand telepsychiatry models are certainly gaining traction as hospital EDs look to more effectively deliver behavioral health care and address the growing need for services. Provided via video-conference, telepsychiatry providers offer on-call professionals that can be accessed based on need. This framework enables telepsychiatrists to deliver care remotely to numerous organizations at once, increasing efficiency and workflows for all stakeholders.

Credentialed telepsychiatrists first collaborate with ED physicians, nurses and social workers, and review a patient’s medical record. An evaluation is then conducted with a patient in a private area through a computer, tablet or other mobile device. Ultimately, the goal of these one-time encounters is to ensure timely recommendations and triage of patients to the most appropriate level of care. On-demand providers provide valuable consultation services to ED staff and can also prescribe medications directly.

Benefits of on-demand telepsychiatry in the ED include:

Early stabilization and better outcomes
Timely psychiatric treatment initiated in the ED promotes earlier stabilization of conditions and improves patient safety—for both those facing a psychiatric crisis and other patients in the ED. It also ensures patients are triaged to the appropriate level of care or community service.

For instance, it is not uncommon for police officers in some states to bring individuals behaving erratically directly to the ED for psychiatric evaluation. Many of these patients do not require inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations, which can be often be avoided by having timely access to psychiatric professionals who can determine the appropriate level of care.

Many telepsychiatrists also report that patients in crisis situations, particularly those who are agitated or paranoid, can feel less intimidated by video conferencing as opposed to in-person evaluation.

Increased patient throughput
When evaluations are conducted in a timely manner, ED providers can help get patients to appropriate levels of care, opening needed beds to other patients and improving wait room crowding.

Greater patient satisfaction
A combination of timely evaluation and the right expertise ensures a better overall experience for any patients in crisis, including those with behavioral health concerns. When patients are forced to wait for hours or days to see a behavioral health professional, frustration is understandable.

Lower costs
Timely access to care lends to greater efficiencies in the ED and positive bottom-line impacts. In addition, telepsychiatry reduces the need for full-time emergency psychiatrists and ongoing recruitment costs and challenges.

Many hospitals—especially those in rural areas—simply lack the financial resources needed to hire specialized behavioral health professionals to provide services the ED. Additionally, hospitals benefit from the on-demand model by paying for usage as opposed to a full-time equivalent. EDs also reduce liabilities with timely access to on-demand telepsychiatry services, minimizing the potential for litigation that might otherwise occur if conditions escalate and difficult situations arise.

Reduced provider burnout
This approach to care also takes the burden off in-person psychiatric providers who are on call or responsible for covering night-shifts. Telepsychiatrists can work these shifts remotely from another location, even in different time zones, offering added flexibility and an enhanced work/life balance—critical components in addressing provider burnout.

Providing a telepsychiatry resource can also reduce stress on ED directors and other ED providers who do not have the specialty training in psychiatry, but are often faced with treating psychiatric patients.

Future Crisis Behavioral Health Models
While the current outlook on behavioral health professional shortages is grim, the good news is that telepsychiatry holds great promise for filling needed gaps, especially in critical environments such as EDs. Hospitals can realize notable gains by leveraging on-demand telepsychiatry services to improve outcomes, patient and provider satisfaction and the bottom line.

The views, opinions and positions expressed within these guest posts are those of the author alone and do not represent those of Becker’s Hospital Review/Becker’s Healthcare. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.

Billings Clinic is now Bringing After-hours Psychiatric Care to its Emergency Department and Inpatient Unit Through Partnership with InSight Telepsychiatry

Jan. 17, 2017 | Billings Clinic of Billings, Montana, has partnered with InSight Telepsychiatry to bring after-hours telepsychiatry services to their emergency department and inpatient unit, an innovative program which will ensure individuals in need of psychiatric treatment at Billings Clinic will have access to timely, quality care.

BILLINGS, MT — Billings Clinic, Montana’s largest healthcare organization, and InSight Telepsychiatry are pleased to announce a new partnership to increase inpatient and emergency psychiatric coverage.

The program is designed to lessen wait times for psychiatric evaluations, admission, and treatment decisions.  The partnership gives Billings Clinic staff access to a team of remote psychiatrists who can do psychiatric evaluations, follow-up consultations and medical consultations through telehealth using video calls. Nurses and emergency department physicians can now connect patients with a remote telepsychiatry provider in as little as an hour.

The telepsychiatry program runs from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m., 7 days per week. Since, psychiatric emergencies often happen at night or on weekends, this schedule means that individuals in crisis are able to get the care they need more quickly.

The program is a result of a partnership between Billings Clinic and InSight Telepsychiatry, the leading national telepsychiatry organization and partner of MHA Ventures, a subsidiary of the Montana Hospital Association. Montana, like many other states across the country, struggles to have sufficient psychiatric coverage in its hospitals and clinics due to a national shortage of psychiatrists.

At nearly double the national average, Montana has the highest suicide rate in the United States with more than 23 suicides per 100,000 people[1]. Additionally, over 75% of Montana’s population has inadequate access to psychiatry[2]. So with the option to utilize remote providers, telepsychiatry and other telemedicine services represent unprecedented access to specialists who are typically difficult to recruit in rural and underserved areas.

“Really, the best thing about a program like this one,” says InSight’s Medical Director Jim Varrell, MD, “is that Montanans now have access to psychiatric services where they may not have had previously.”

”This partnership is another step for Billings Clinic toward improving mental health care for people in crisis,” said Lyle Seavy, Billings Clinic Director of Psychiatry, “We are addressing those peak times when staffing is a challenge to help meet the needs of our patients, help reduce strain on our staff and help improve the experience for people in a mental health crisis.”

As a result of the partnership, the telepsychiatry program is expected to expand into additional Billings Clinic facilities.

In addition to facility-based models of telepsychiatry, InSight is also working with the Montana chapter of Mental Health America to offer telemental health care to individuals in their home or other private spaces online.

About Billings Clinic

Billings Clinic is Montana’s largest health system serving Montana, Wyoming and the western Dakotas. A not-for-profit organization led by a physician CEO, Billings Clinic is governed by a board of community members, nurses and physicians. At its core, Billings Clinic is a physician-led, integrated multispecialty group practice with a 285-bed hospital and Level II trauma center. Billings Clinic has more than 4,000 employees, including more than 400 physicians and advanced practitioners offering more than 50 specialties. More information can be found at www.billingsclinic.com.

About InSight Telepsychiatry

InSight is the leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization with a mission to increase access to quality behavioral health care through telehealth. InSight’s behavioral health providers bring care into any setting on an on-demand or scheduled basis. InSight has 18+ years of telepsychiatry experience and is an industry thought-leader. More information can be found at www.InSightTelepsychiatry.com.


[1] Suicide: Montana 2016 Facts and Figures. (2016). In American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Retrieved January 12, 2017, from https://afsp.org/about-suicide/state-fact-sheets/#Montana

[2] Mental Health Care Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). (2016, September 8). In Kaiser Family Foundation. Retrieved January 12, 2017, from http://kff.org/other/state-indicator/mental-health-care-health-professional-shortage-areas-hpsas/?currentTimeframe=0