Brattleboro Retreat welcomes three new physicians to medical staff: expands tele-psychiatry service

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Mon, 01/22/2018 - 12:51pm -- Denise Sortor

Following last year’s successful pilot and launch of tele-psychiatry services on its Tyler 1 Adult Inpatient Program and Birches Treatment Center partial hospital program, the Brattleboro Retreat will expand its tele-psychiatry capacity to three more inpatient programs. To support this effort, the Retreat is pleased to announce the appointments of Moddi Kiluvia, MD, Liz Niemiec, MD, and Jared Zucker, MD, to its medical staff. They will serve as full-time members of the Retreat’s medical staff while working remotely from locations in Manhattan, NY, Brooklyn, NY, and Newport, RI, respectively.

Expanded tele-psychiatry services at the Retreat will officially launch on Monday, January 22, and will be available to patients on the hospital’s Tyler 2 Adult Inpatient Program along with the LGBT Adult Inpatient Program and Emerging Adult Inpatient Program.

The Retreat’s new medical staff appointees join staff psychiatrist Kyle Hagstrom, MD, of Naples, FL, and contract physician Lisa Lambert, MD, of Hanover, NH, on the Retreat’s roster of tele-psychiatry physicians.

“Our new colleagues will have daily schedules similar to our on-site physicians,” said Mark McGee, MD, chief medical officer. “They will carry full case loads, follow streamlined workflows, and participate in all medical staff functions—all be it from remote locations.”

Adding to this news is the announcement of a new contract between the Brattleboro Retreat and Brattleboro Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department, which establishes a framework for Retreat physicians to provide tele-psychiatry consultations on behalf of ED patients experiencing acute psychiatric distress.

“Certain ED consultations will help expedite treatment plans and allow patients to leave the hospital and go home,” explained Dr. McGee. “Others will lead to patients being admitted to specialty hospitals like the Retreat or other similar facilities. Either way, we’re excited to begin using tele-psychiatry to alleviate suffering and help reduce the number of psychiatric patients who find themselves stuck in hospital emergency rooms.”

Tele-psychiatry will also enhance the Retreat’s physician recruitment efforts by eliminating the requirement to relocate to Vermont and significantly expanding the pool of potential candidates. This in turn will ensure greater stability within the medical staff, add to the Retreat’s bed capacity by alleviating staff shortages, and reduce the need to hire expensive travel doctors.

In terms of patient satisfaction, tele-psychiatry has proven to be as effective as face-to-face interactions with a physician. Available research indicates that tele-psychiatry is on par with face-to-face encounters in terms of accuracy of diagnostic assessments, patient satisfaction, and clinical outcomes.

“In the end it’s about using innovative technology to increase patient access to quality care,” said McGee.

The Brattleboro Retreat, founded in 1834, is a not-for-profit, regional specialty psychiatric hospital and addictions treatment center, providing a full range of diagnostic, therapeutic and rehabilitation services for individuals of all ages and their families. Recognized as a national leader in the treatment mental illness and addiction, the Brattleboro Retreat offers a high quality, individualized, comprehensive continuum of care including inpatient, partial hospitalization, residential and outpatient treatment.