Share:

About Telemedicine at Mount Sinai

Mount Sinai Hospital-Perinatal Mental Health Program introduces Telemedicine Program

Mount Sinai has the largest perinatal psychiatry program in Canada, serving our in-patients, ambulatory patients and now patients in their own community. The Perinatal Mental Health Team at Mount Sinai Hospital has increased capacity to support women with perinatal mental health problems through the use of advanced video technology.  Using personal videoconferencing software we can deliver the right care, at the right time, in the right place for the patient. We can offer care where and when women need it the most.

Perinatal women may face multiple barriers to access the support that they need. This technology enables the provision of care for women who have mental health concerns but live far from the hospital, have childcare or economic barriers or would otherwise not be able to return for follow-up. Studies of the effectiveness of telemedicine appointments versus traditional face-to-face appointments in psychiatry have found equivalent outcomes in patient satisfaction, adherence and psychological symptom reduction. (O’Reilly, R. et al., 2007; Fortney, J.C., et al., 2007; Kay-Lambkin, F.J., et al., 2009)

We are able to offer consultation, assessment and ongoing patient care, either in a health care provider’s office or in the patient's home via a new program of the Ontario Telemedicine Network called Guest Link.  You do not need to be a registered member of the Ontario Telemedicine Network.  Using mobile technology, we can bring video capability directly to patients within Toronto Central LHIN as needed.

We are able to collaborate with health care providers to support dissemination of evidence-based best practices and assessment tools for early identification and intervention for women experiencing perinatal mental health disorders.

The telemedicine services are:

  • OHIP billable
  • Portable
  • Increase access to perinatal psychiatrists for the most vulnerable of patients

 

Goals of the Perinatal Mental Health Telemedicine Program:

  • For perinatal women with mental health concerns in Ontario, we aim to offer accessible psychiatric consultations that will provide diagnostic clarification and treatment recommendations
  • For health care providers treating women with perinatal mental health concerns, we offer medication consultations

Please note that we do not see patients for:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Primary substance abuse
  • Ongoing psychiatric care
  • Emergency or crisis care

The program is not a crisis or emergency service. If the patient is experiencing active suicidal/homicidal/psychotic/manic symptoms, the patient should be directed to the nearest Emergency Department or to their local health care provider for immediate assessment.

The Perinatal Mental Health Program at Mount Sinai Hospital serves patients who are:

 

Inclusion Criteria

  • Patient must have a primary care provider and/or psychiatrist looking for second opinion
  • Patient must be willing to be seen via telemedicine
  • Patient must be preconception, pregnant and within one year of postpartum who is at risk of developing psychiatric problems, with a strong history of mental illness and/ or experiencing anxiety or depression
  • Telemedicine site must have access to emergency services
  • Patient must be 18 years of age or older
     

Exclusion Criteria

We cannot accept the following patients:

  • Over one year postpartum
  • Younger than 18 years of age
  • Have active violent or self-injurious behavior
  • Demonstrate psychotic or manic symptoms
  • Substance abuse is a significant/primary issue
  • Seeking an assessment for legal support, workplace issues and/or parenting capacity
  • Seeking ongoing therapy
  • Currently being followed by a psychiatrist*

*For medication consultations, the patient’s primary care provider and/or current psychiatrist should be available during the last 15-20 minutes of the telemedicine session.

*Please note: The program is not a crisis or emergency service.  If the patient is experiencing active suicidal/homicidal/psychotic/manic symptoms, the patient should be directed to the nearest Emergency Department for immediate assessment.   

Referrals can be made to Mount Sinai Perinatal Mental Health Team by:

  • Download Referral Form from:

Perinatal Referral Form

  • Please indicate the referral is for a TELEMEDICINE appointment (if referring site is registered member of OTN, please include videoconferencing site and system number and contact information of telemedicine coordinator)
  • Referral form must be filled out completely including the following information: 1) patients full address 2) valid OHIP number 3) referring care providers billing information 
  • All referrals are to be faxed to 416-586-8596
  • Patient will be contacted for a phone assessment by our Clinical Nurse Specialist/Telemedicine Coordinator
  • Patient must be seen via telemedicine at referring care providers office for the initial assessment. OTN member sites preferred.  

 

If you have questions about the telemedicine program, please contact Rodea Casam (Clinical Nurse Specialist) at 416 586-4800 x8630. We would be happy to answer any questions.