Tag Archives: Shelley Sellinger

InSight Telepsychiatry Presents Grand Rounds at Eastern Virginia Medical School

NORFOLK, VA – InSight Telepsychiatry was invited to present a grand rounds presentation at Eastern Virginia Medical School on December 11, 2019 from 12-1pm for the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health.

Shelley Sellinger, MD, a psychiatrist specializing in adult services including anxiety and depression, sexual and gender issues, substance use and addiction, trauma and abuse, and psychopharmacology presented. Dr. Sellinger has over two decades of psychiatry experience and has been practicing telepsychiatry for five years. Prior to telepsychiatry, Dr. Sellinger provided clinical outpatient services, worked in various locations with Psychiatric Locums, assisted the Sullivan County, New York, Department of Human Services as a psychiatry consultant, and has been operating her own private practice.

In her presentation entitled, Telebehavioral Health Best Practices for Providers, Dr. Sellinger discussed:

  1. Adapt clinical approach to sessions that take place via video
    2. Identify clinical concerns of telehealth, such as regulations and compliance, and how to address them
    3. Describe guidelines for examining and prescribing via telehealth
    4. Apply telehealth standards for emergency situations, referrals and informed consent
    5. Prepare to work with special populations via telepsychiatry

As an appropriate demonstration of telemedicine’s technological capabilities, Dr. Sellinger presented via videoconference. Those in attendance were left with a few “Telepsychiatry Takeaways” to remember as they continue their work in the behavioral health field.

About InSight Telepsychiatry
InSight is the leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization with a mission to increase access to quality behavioral health care through innovative applications of technology. InSight has over two decades of telepsychiatry experience and serves hundreds of organizations across the country with its on-demand, scheduled services and Inpathy divisions. InSight is uniquely positioned to offer scalable telepsychiatry services in settings across the continuum of care. InSight has a diverse team of psychiatry providers, a robust internal infrastructure and a history of adapting its programs to fit the needs of a variety of different settings and populations. InSight has led the growth of the telepsychiatry industry and remains an industry thought leader and advocate. InSight Telepsychiatry and Regroup Telehealth recently merged to become the largest and most comprehensive telepsychiatry service provider in the US. To learn more about telepsychiatry and how it can benefit you or your organization, visit www.InSightTelepsychiatry.com.

Breaking Down Remote Provider Silos

Written by Shelley Sellinger, M.D. Originally posted on Becker’s Hospital Review

There is little debate that telemedicine has carved out a powerful niche in health care. Rapid growth of remote care models in recent years underscores the opportunity for both providers and patients alike. Yet, as health care organizations continue to adopt telemedicine models, many find that one all-important strategy is often overlooked: remote provider engagement.

It’s not a surprising revelation. While many providers find the telemedicine career path attractive because of the flexible scheduling options or ability to work remotely, they are often unprepared for the disconnected nature of the work and can be left feeling like they’re in a vacuum. That’s why it’s essential for organizations to consider how they can create unified, interconnected teams across geographies to support remote provider needs, and in turn, optimal care delivery.

Consider, for instance, the experience of my organization, InSight Telepsychiatry, which provides on-demand, scheduled and direct-to-consumer telepsychiatry services. With our providers spread remotely across the nation and even the world, InSight took note of the potential engagement struggles we as remote staff could experience.

To address this challenge head-on, InSight developed a comprehensive remote provider engagement strategy designed and led by a team of remote providers. Through the establishment of a provider engagement committee, we are now able to bring our offsite teams together in much the same way we connect with patients—virtually—to ensure providers feel connected and receive the support they need.

Considerations for Remote Provider Engagement
Like any provider community, telepsychiatry providers need access to clinical growth opportunities, peer collaboration and an understanding of priorities to feel part of the comprehensive provider team. The provider engagement committee serves as a critical resource for delivering clinical feedback, providing professional development opportunities, establishing a shared vision with managers and giving providers a voice in the organization.

As any worthwhile initiative, remote provider engagement programs require organizational resources from both a time and direct cost perspective. Consider administrative time that must be allocated for clinical supervision and staff development activities that may require monetary investment. Ultimately, a successful remote workforce model requires traditional management practices to be adapted to ensure remote providers feel engaged and part of a team. Designing a thorough program where a remote team has both professional development and social needs met is a crucial piece.

Advancing Engagement Strategies
As a remote provider who helped design and lead charge of our engagement committee at InSight, it’s important to remember that thoughtful program design is key. Through a number of strategic initiatives, we’ve been able to build an effective and sustainable program that addresses remote provider challenges head on while also meeting our unique needs as a company. Videoconferencing technology is used administratively to connect remote providers and team members, creating opportunities to collaborate, share feedback or ask questions when facing a challenging or new situation. Other key initiatives as part of our engagement program include the following.

Mentoring programs
Especially for new telepsychiatry providers, mentoring programs provide an effective way to onboard providers to organizational clinical processes and best practices for success. During the onboarding process, it’s important to have the opportunity to connect with someone who is not an administrator, as that can be intimidating at times. Connecting with another provider allows a peer relationship to form and can increase the comfort level of the new provider. Mentors connect with mentees by video or phone and are available for collaboration through other means as needed.

Clinical check-ins
Regularly scheduled clinical check-ins allow medical directors and telepsychiatry providers to discuss their work, ask questions or voice concerns. Telepsychiatry providers review performance and go through patient charts in detail at these meetings as well as connect with remote providers on a more personal level. Health care organizations can further extend clinical check-in strategies to include group sessions, allowing collaboration with multiple telepsychiatry providers to discuss best practices, difficult cases, common issues and any other topics that may arise. Group collaboration can also serve as a platform to support clinical peer review where providers and their colleagues review patient charts in compliance with industry standards.

Provider engagement newsletters
Monthly or bi-monthly newsletters are a great way to keep remote providers updated on organizational happenings, new initiatives or changes to care delivery processes and procedures. In addition, these forums can provide a platform for educating on new evidence and research.

Provider town halls 
The town hall model is typically used for high-level discussions regarding organizational updates and announcements to keep remote providers engaged with what’s happening on a macro level. The opportunity for providers and the administrative team to come together is imperative, and the town hall model allows providers to interact with one another and address questions or concerns to the administrative team.

These sessions might be held quarterly, bi-annually or once a year depending on resources and needs, allowing clinical leadership and operations managers to discuss current focus areas for telepsychiatry, changes in strategy or long-term plans. Additionally, this type of forum makes it possible for providers to interact with one another as a group. This allows a chance for providers to meet those who may be located in the same state or work with a similar facility which could then lead to a new peer relationship.

Continuing medical education
Critical to professional development, remote providers need access to continuing medical education opportunities to maintain their licensure. Our organization offers the opportunity to advance learning and earn credits through remote programs similar to providers working in a group setting.

Provider Engagement for Sustainable Telemedicine Models
Growth across the telemedicine field shows no sign of slowing. As the influence of these forward-looking models increases, the need for remote provider engagement strategies cannot be overlooked.

Remote provider organizations can follow suit and take a similar approach by applying this model and tailoring to their specific needs to keep provider teams from becoming disconnected and disengaged. Ultimately, it comes down to ensuring remote providers have the resources they need to succeed and giving them a voice in the organization.

About the author
Shelley Sellinger MD, ABPN is a board-certified psychiatrist from New York specializing in adult services, including anxiety and depression, substance use and addiction, trauma and abuse, and psychopharmacology. Dr. Sellinger has devoted her career to expanding access to behavioral health care. She joined InSight Telepsychiatry to continue that mission and assist patients nationwide.

Delaware Takes Its ACT to the Next Level

A Delaware ACT team conducts a weekly briefing with its telepsychiatrist.

Delaware is known as the “First State” since it was the first colony to ratify the United States Constitution, but that motto can also apply to another bold step undertaken in the state more recently. A few years back, Delaware became the first state to merge telepsychiatry with assertive community treatment (ACT).

Two teams managed by the nonprofit Resources for Human Development (RHD) have been using telepsychiatry since 2014. The teams are known as RHD Kent ACT2 and RHD New Castle ACT2 and are based in Dover and Wilmington, respectively.

For some, it may seem an odd pairing. A core aspect of ACT—a proven therapy for severe mental illness such as schizophrenia—is the idea of face-to-face contact. Multidisciplinary ACT teams meet with patients both in clinics and in their communities (at home, at work while on lunch break, or at another similar location in the community) to help patients recover and reintegrate into society.

Could this model still work if the ACT psychiatrist was present via an iPad or similar device?

“I had some concerns about telepsychiatry coming in, since I thought many clients wouldn’t want to talk to a television, but it has not been a problem at all,” said Shelley Sellinger, M.D., a New York–based psychiatrist and mental health consultant for the Kent ACT team. “A couple of patients had some wariness initially, but they warmed quickly. I even had one patient with television-related paranoia, but he was totally fine with the arrangement.”

Laura Marvel, director of RHD Kent ACT2, agreed. “It doesn’t matter if the psychiatrist is in person or on a screen,” she told Psychiatric News. “If we have access to a good doctor, it doesn’t matter where the doctor is.”

The incorporation of telepsychiatry was born out of necessity. In 2012, Delaware awarded ACT contracts to RHD to help provide better outpatient care to people with severe mental illness such as schizophrenia. RHD found out quickly that getting psychiatrists involved was difficult given the time commitments; in addition to traveling across the state to make scheduled or emergency house visits, ACT team members meet weekly to discuss patient progress.

Around that time, Dan Khebzou, an account executive with the telepsychiatry firm InSight, was meeting with RHD administrators in Philadelphia to discuss service options. He heard about the difficulties RHD was having in hiring psychiatrists for the newly formed ACT teams and suggested the telepsychiatry option.

“I’ve encountered resistance in using telepsychiatry for vulnerable populations from regulators; they cite issues such as licensing, technical problems, or handling civil commitments through video,” said Khebzou. “But Delaware was willing to embrace telepsychiatry, so it presented an opportunity to prove this model.”

After a successful pilot program, RHD moved full steam ahead with telepsychiatry in 2014, and the program is still going strong today, Marvel said. Besides patient acceptance, she said that other ACT team members—which include case coordinators, nurses, and social workers—are on board with the technology. They have not seen Sellinger’s participation via video during their weekly team meetings as hindering the team dynamic.

If anything, Sellinger said, the remote aspect can help build some relationships with the team. “I can conduct most assessments remotely as well as in person, but there are elements that are difficult, such as testing AIMS (Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale) or rigidity,” she said. “In these cases, the on-site nurses are my eyes and ears, and we communicate about what’s going on. In addition, they will let me know about hygiene if it’s pertinent, so they also are my nose.”

There are occasional technical glitches as well, but Marvel said the teams have established back-up plans to reach Sellinger in case of some malfunction with the video monitor used in the clinic or the iPad used on the road. “I’ve found Dr. Sellinger is as accessible to me or the team as an on-site person would be,” she said. “Sometimes even more so; maybe there is a sense of overcompensating since she can’t be physically present.”

“ACT is a wonderful way to provide care to persistently ill folks who might not be able to get care otherwise,” Sellinger said. “However, it is a demanding job to go into communities every day and work with these individuals, and it can lead to psychiatrist burnout. This telepsychiatry model has allowed me to continue to practice and give care longer than I might have otherwise.”

Original article published on Psychiatric Times

Innovative ACT Program Utilizing Telepsychiatry to Be Highlighted at American Telemedicine Association Annual Conference

May 17, 2016 | Representatives from Resources for Human Development and InSight Telepsychiatry will discuss a first-of-its-kind program that brings telepsychiatry to individuals with severe mental illness receiving care through assertive community treatment programs in Delaware.

InSight RHD

Speakers representing Resources for Human Development (RHD) and InSight Telepsychiatry will highlight their unique use of telepsychiatry in two Delaware assertive community treatment (ACT) programs at the American Telemedicine Association Annual Conference on May 17.

InSight telepsychiatrist Shelley Sellinger, MD, and RHD’s Unit Director in Delaware Laura Marvel will present a case study detailing the organizations’ development of a telepsychiatry program for RHD’s ACT teams in Wilmington and Dover, Del., the first program of its kind in the nation. Marvel, who has spent the past 15 years working in Delaware’s mental health system, was a driving force behind the creation of the program. Dr. Sellinger provides 32 hours of scheduled telepsychiatry services per week to RHD’s Dover program from her home office in New York.

Using 4G-enabled laptops and tablets, RHD social workers can bring remote telepsychiatry providers directly to the homes of individuals with severe mental illness participating in RHD’s ACT programs. These in-home visits are used in conjunction with office visits where a telepsychiatrists is also a part of the care team.

ACT programs bring together counselors, psychiatrists, registered nurses, case managers and vocational specialists to help individuals whose mental health conditions cause them significant challenges in working, maintaining social relationships, living independently and managing their health. These providers work with individuals to identify what is preventing them from living a successful life and facilitate independence. The ACT model of care was developed in the early 1970s and was widely adopted in communities across the countries by the end of the decade.

In 2012, Delaware awarded ACT contracts in Dover and Wilmington to RHD, a national human services nonprofit organization, with the goal of discharging consumers from inpatient units and providing them with intensive, 24/7 outpatient care. However, Delaware’s shortage of available psychiatry providers, which reflects national shortages, made it challenging for members RHD’s ACT provider team to come together regularly.

To address this problem, RHD took a unique approach, partnering with InSight the next year to incorporate telepsychiatry into their ACT programs.

The two organizations created a telepsychiatry pilot with two groups of 100 individuals, who were transported to RHD’s two ACT offices to meet with a psychiatrist via videoconference. By using telepsychiatry, RHD maintains a team approach to care, and psychiatry providers maximize the number of individuals they see, since they no longer have to spend time traveling from site to site.

Once RHD and InSight established the efficacy and acceptability of telepsychiatry with individuals in the office-based pilot program, they expanded the program to be able to meet individuals in the community. Instead of bringing individuals to see a telepsychiatrist in their offices, RHD could bring the telepsychiatrist to individuals in their homes or other community spaces using 4G-enabled laptops and tablets.

Today, RHD’s Delaware ACT programs use telepsychiatry both in and outside of their offices. Dr. Sellinger sees individuals in their homes a few times a week via telepsychiatry. She says that iPads have helped increase the volume of in-home telepsychiatry encounters and that individuals love it when she comes to them via the devices.

Seeing individuals in their home environments helps more accurately assess their needs, says Dr. Sellinger. “When you see them in their home, you see if it’s clean or messy, and their family is there,” Dr. Sellinger says. “You really get a sense of what’s going on with them.”

Dr. Sellinger can then use these environmental and social cues as clinical indicators to help her prescribe the best possible treatment for that particular individual.

“Despite the fact that individuals and Dr. Sellinger do not meet in the same location, both parties tend to forget that they’re seeing each other through screens,” says Kathleen Gainey, a registered nurse at RHD’s ACT office in Dover who works with Dr. Sellinger. “It’s as if she’s there in person,” she says of Dr. Sellinger and her ability to connect with individuals.

In-home telepsychiatry from InSight isn’t limited to ACT programs. InSight’s Inpathy network makes it possible for consumers to connect with behavioral health professionals, including many psychiatrists from home.

InSight and RHD’s ATA presentation will take place on May 17 at 4:15 p.m. in room 205A.

InSight will also have two booths at ATA, booth 1909 and booth 515.

For more information, to connect with InSight at ATA, or to schedule a time for a meeting with an InSight representative, contact Olivia Boyce at oboyce(at)in-sight(dot)net or 770.713.4161.

InSight Telepsychiatry to Present at American Telemedicine Association Annual Conference

May 15, 2016 | InSight Telepsychiatry leaders, providers and partners are presenting this week at the American Telemedicine Association’s Annual Conference and Trade Show in Minneapolis. Their presentations, which will address practicing telebehavioral health in a variety of settings and marketing telebehavioral health to consumers, will draw on InSight’s experience as the leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization.

MINNEAPOLIS — Representatives from InSight Telepsychiatry will give presentations on a variety of telepsychiatry topics during the American Telemedicine Association’s (ATA) Annual Conference and Trade Show May 15 to 17.

On May 17, two InSight providers will present during one of ATA’s 75+ peer-reviewed sessions. The session, called How-To Telemental Health in Non-Institutional Settings, will feature “Fast-Paced Work from the Comfort of Home: Clinical Considerations for Crisis Telepsychiatry,” presented by Doug Ikelheimer, MD and “ACT Now for Innovation: Develop a Telemental Health Program for ACT Teams,” presented by Shelley Sellinger, MD.

Dr. Ikelheimer, a board-certified psychiatrist, will draw on his experience as an InSight on-demand telepsychiatry provider to discuss the benefits of challenges of working in an emergency department (ED) from home.

On-demand telepsychiatry providers offer much-needed psychiatric expertise that can reduce the amount of time consumers in crisis wait for proper care. Dr. Ikelheimer’s presentation will review the steps that need to be taken to establish a successful emergency telepsychiatry program and examine case studies in which individuals were able to receive timely, appropriate care through telepsychiatry in emergency departments.

Dr. Sellinger, also a board-certified psychiatrist, will present a case study that details InSight’s partnership with Resources for Human Development (RHD) to establish a telepsychiatry program with mobile capabilities for two assertive community treatment (ACT) teams in Delaware. The program is the first in the nation to use telepsychiatry in an ACT program and serves as a model for implementing telepsychiatry into ACT programs nationwide.

The program brings a combination of on-site and in-home telepsychiatry services to individuals whose mental health conditions prevent them from working or living independently. With 4G-enabled tablets and laptops, RHD social workers to travel to individuals’ homes or other community spaces to connect them with a remote psychiatry provider.

Laura Marvel, the Unit Director for RHD’s Delaware assertive community treatment teams, will present alongside Dr. Sellinger.

InSight Marketing and Communications Manager Olivia Boyce will present the e-poster, “Telemarketing: It’s Not What You Think — A How-To Guide for Promoting Direct-to-Consumer Telehealth,” on May 15.

Additionally, InSight Business Innovations Manager Scott Baker will moderate the session, “Effectiveness of Automated Speech Recognition Apps,” on May 17. The session will focus on the use of speech recognition apps in behavioral health services, including telepsychiatry.

ATA 2016 is the industry’s leading event for insights into the latest telemedicine and mobile health trends.

InSight is the leading national telepsychiatry service provider organization with a mission to increase access to quality behavioral health care through innovative applications of technology.

For more information and to connect with InSight at ATA, visit booth 1909 or booth 515, where InSight will exhibit alongside Carenection, a telehealth marketplace that offers a scalable, unified telemedicine solution for organizations and systems implementing telehealth. To schedule a time for a meeting, contact Olivia Boyce at oboyce@in-sight.net or 770.713.4161.