Telepsychiatry Evaluation Project (2003)

Beth Landon, MBA, MHA
Mariko Selle, BS
Stacy L. Smith, MFA
Kathy Graves, MSW, PhD

The Alaska Center for Rural Health (ACRH) contracted with the Alaska Science and Technology Foundation (ASTF) and the Alaska Telehealth Advisory Council (ATAC) to evaluate telepsychiatry sessions conducted in two rural Alaska sites that installed equipment and implemented telepsychiatry. The two demonstration sites are City of Ketchikan Center for Gateway Human Services and Eastern Aleutian Tribes (EAT).

ACRH's evaluation activities included a qualitative review of the Gateway Center for Human Services (Ketchikan/Metlakatla) site and collection of survey data on each performed telephychiatry encounter. Interviews addressed how telepsychiatry affected care in terms of cost, timeliness, quality, and access, which will enhance the understanding of the quantitative survey instrument data. Interviews also included perceptions of the technology overall, and how well the providers have addressed cultural issues in the patient-clinician relationship.

The Alaska Center for Rural Health was awarded $57,219 in funding from ATAC to perform a qualitative and quantitative evaluation of telepsychiatry sessions. This project commenced in the Fall of 2000 and finished in June 2003.