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Telemedicine Uses – Mental Health Treatment

by James Heller 9. September 2010 07:34
Many individuals suffer needlessly, delaying or declining treatment for mental health disorders.  A good portion of them know that they could benefit from treatment, but have fears or time constraints that prevent them from attending sessions at a treatment center.  Telemedicine may be the solution that will bring them freedom.

We all know that mental health disorders range from mild to severe cases, and all of the sufferers benefit from some form of treatment.  A grieving person may just need someone to help process feelings of loss in a few sessions, and another who suffers from social phobias can be treated with therapy or medication.  But the former may have high job demands that limit time to visit a treatment center, and the latter might not be able to leave the house out of fear.  These are only two examples that prevent those in need of treatment from getting it.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Office of Applied Sciences reported on unmet mental health treatment needs within its 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.  About 10.6 million adults reported unmet needs for treatment.  A little over 30% of them expressed concerns labeled “Did not have time”, “Concerned about confidentiality”, and “Might cause neighbors/community to have negative opinion”.  All of these relate directly or indirectly with travel to a treatment center on a regular basis.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides telemedicine to allow this group of individuals to get treatment using video conference with a webcam and computer with internet access.  Those with little time can simply log in to a session from their home or office.  Family, friends, and neighbors will not ask questions about the sudden evening trips, and the chance of being seen at a treatment center is almost eliminated.  The TherapyLiveVisit application we use, powered by MDLiveCare, sits behind several layers of encryption, removing any concerns about security or confidentiality.

We also provide telemedicine services for medical care and addiction treatment.  You may also see these services called telehealth, telemental health, and online treatment.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides a full array of health care services including adult and youth alcohol and drug treatment.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependence, drug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Telemedicine Uses – Alcohol Treatment

by James Heller 2. September 2010 14:00
Individuals from all social and economic levels can suffer from alcohol dependence.  When they know they need treatment, some of them can’t access it either because they don’t have time or worry about the social stigma of being an alcoholic.  Recovery may be the only thing that saves their family, job, or finances, though, so they should consider telemedicine as an option.

The homeless people you see on the street are only the public face of alcoholism.  One may work in the office or cubicle next to you, or even live in your own home.  It is estimated that over 1 in 10 Americans suffer today.  No matter who they are, at some time, hopefully, they realize that they need alcohol treatment.  Sadly, many will postpone or decline this addiction treatment for several reasons.

Entering alcohol treatment is still wrongly stigmatized as a weakness for a large segment of society.  Individuals in positions of authority and possibly well known, in business and politics, very often place public status over their own health, and think they will be okay without treatment.  But for every one individual who seems to be “living a party” and still making a living in the news, there are thousands who will lose everything.  

Successful alcohol treatment does require a time commitment from patients and their loved ones.  The patient needs to attend individual and group sessions to work through life issues that will prevent relapse.  Family and friends need to also attend groups to work on themselves as well as to provide support for the patient.  The resistance is not so much about attending the sessions, but more about the travel time and coordination of schedules that makes people nervous.  When one knows they need treatment, they should get it.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides telemedicine for individuals who have these reasons, and many others, to not seek alcohol treatment.  Sessions are conducted by video conference over the browser-based TherapyLiveVisit application, powered by MDLiveCare.  Participants in telemedicine only need a computer with a webcam and internet connection.  All sessions are secure and confidential, running behind several layers of encryption.

These individuals who need help with alcohol abuse or dependence can now get it before problems mount too high.  Eliminating regular trips to an alcohol treatment center solves the stigma and time issues.  There is no need to explain sudden regular “nights out” to those who may pry, and all sessions can be conducted at home or work.  Travel time is eliminated, along with the hassle of loading the family in a car.  Also, distant family members can participate in family sessions, which is a great benefit.

Telemedicine at Tarzana Treatment Centers is not limited to addiction treatment.  We also provide online mental health treatment and online medical care.  Our goal is to see that those who need treatment can get it.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides a full array of health care services including adult and youth alcohol and drug treatment.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependence, drug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Telemedicine Uses – Heroin Treatment

by James Heller 31. August 2010 14:55
Heroin addiction imprisons its victims in a world that seems inescapable, even after successful heroin detox treatment.  Opiate cravings lead them to believe they can have “just a little” heroin since the body is cleansed.  For many, outpatient heroin treatment helps them to avoid relapse by dealing with life issues.  And for those who have work and family obligations, there is the option of online drug treatment via telemedicine.

Medical detoxification cleanses the body of alcohol and drugs, and is only the beginning of successful treatment.  So the physical battle with heroin addiction may be over, but heroin cravings and psycho-social factors remain.  The addicted brain sends a multitude of signals to the body, telling it that it either needs heroin to survive or that it won’t hurt to use a small amount.  The signal offers a sense of relief from all the obsessive thoughts in the addict’s mind.  Relapse is often the result.

Heroin treatment helps to ease the mental obsession for the drug, and get past the cravings.  Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) may also help with opiate cravings.  Residential treatment is very effective, and outpatient treatment works in many cases as well.  Some individuals, though, may have time or travel hindrances that make it difficult to attend outpatient sessions regularly.  For them, telemedicine is a welcomed solution.

As an example, a young male husband and parent is on his final two days of opiate detox.  He desperately wants to change his life and enter treatment.  He feels a need to get a job and support the family he had neglected, and declines residential treatment.  While he is willing to enter outpatient treatment, he can’t afford the travel costs and worries that it will interfere with a new job.  Without another option, he is likely to attempt recovery without treatment and is sure to relapse.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles offers telemedicine as another heroin treatment option.  Our friend could attend regular individual and group sessions by video conference using a webcam and computer with internet access.  Our TherapyLiveVisit application, powered by MDLiveCare, provides patients with a secure connection to our addiction treatment providers at affordable rates.  We are also able to offer phone consultations for those without video conferencing equipment.

Telemedicine at Tarzana Treatment Centers is not limited to addiction treatment.  We also provide online mental health treatment and online medical care.  Our goal is to see that those who need treatment can get it.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides a full array of health care services including adult and youth alcohol and drug treatment.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependence, drug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Now Providing Online Treatment 24/7

by James Heller 24. June 2010 10:08
Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles has taken pride in our efforts to remain current with health technology advancements.  We have now partnered with MDLiveCare to provide telemedicine services.  This will enable us to offer alcohol and drug treatment, mental health treatment, and medical care via video conference technology, which will allow access to more individuals who need these services.

Please click the link below to read the press release:

MDLiveCare® Health Services, Inc. Announces Agreements in California, Florida and Illinois as It Continues Building National Provider Network and Licensing Relationships


Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides adult and youth alcohol and drug treatment.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependence, drug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

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Technology in Alcohol and Drug Treatment - Digital Signatures

by James Heller 21. April 2010 07:50
After years of suffering, and finally making the decision to enter alcohol and drug treatment, the last thing alcoholics and drug addicts want to do is wait.  Forms need to be completed, printed and signed, and all of that paper used can’t be good for the environment.  Digital signatures address both of these issues.

When alcohol and drug treatment centers stay current with technology in health care, the main goal is to improve patient outcomes.  Any new technology aims to provide better security, efficiency in treatment, and the ability to store and share information between staff professionals.  But even with efficient systems in place, paperwork can seem overwhelming to patients being admitted to treatment.

Many individuals entering alcohol and drug treatment require medical detoxification to minimize withdrawals.  The decision to enter treatment may have taken months, partially out of fear over alcohol, heroin, or prescription drug withdrawals.  Once they enter the doors of a facility, with no access to their drugs of choice, that fear makes every minute seem like an hour.

Suddenly, they are faced with a stack of paperwork that needs to be read and signed.  Before they are halfway through the stack, physical signs of withdrawal may begin to appear.  No matter how quickly an admissions counselor wants to proceed, this work needs to be done to ensure patient security and proper treatment.

Paper use is a problem in this process, as well.  If two professionals need to see a form at the same time, it means that copies need to be made.  Most of those copies are shredded after use.  Digital creation and storage of many forms minimizes waste, but there are still some that need patient signatures.  This still means that paper is printed, copied and shredded over and over again.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles has addressed this issue by incorporating digital signature capturing into the admissions and counseling process.  Patients can now proceed through the admissions process without waiting for forms to print.  They can simply sign them using a digital signature pad during the admission interview process, effectively cutting the admission time in half.

When patients complete the admissions process, they are walked into a treatment unit with minimal paperwork.  This not only saves paperwork, but also provides better security for patients.  This is because their detailed information is only available on a secure network computer, accessible only to treatment staff.  It also means that two professionals can look at the same information simultaneously, without needing to make copies.

Our goal is to be completely paperless as a health care organization.  The ability to capture digital signatures provided a bridge over a big chasm that prevented us from reaching that goal.  This took some time to accomplish, but it was worth it considering that we made great leaps toward two of our goals.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles uses the latest technology to provide effective alcohol and drug treatment.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependence, drug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Telemedicine Standards in Mental Health

by James Heller 1. February 2010 08:32
Telemedicine in mental health treatment has been in practice for over 40 years.  When this method of treatment was first introduced, it was reasonable to criticize its lack of security, confidentiality, and effectiveness.  But with advancements in technology and standards being compiled, it can now match face-to-face treatment in all three areas.

Thinking back to the 1960s technology brings memories of rotary dial telephones.  It would be considered high tech to use something more secure than a party line, where people used the same channel of communication at more than one location.  And even then it could not be considered secure.

Confidentiality was a major concern to skeptics since secured phone lines were not common to the public like they are today.  Laws didn’t exist to protect patient confidentiality like they do today either.  This type of security was very expensive, so in most cases it could only be assumed that it was not in place.  Therefore, patients could only get confidential mental health treatment via telemedicine at great personal expense.

Beyond security and confidentiality, effectiveness of 1960s telemedicine was in question.  This is not to question the intent or qualifications of mental health providers at the time.  However, in sessions much can be determined by facial expressions and patient demeanor that cannot be seen over an audio connection.  Unless secure video conferencing was used, which was incredibly expensive, e-therapy was lacking.

Telemedicine has evolved over the decades to where it is now possible for mental health patients to receive confidential and effective treatment from home.  Behavioral healthcare providers need to meet confidentiality standards as required by law for in-house treatment.  And it is now common to see video communication technology almost everywhere.

It is now reasonable to see telemedicine as effective and secure, rather than to be a skeptic.  While most of the general public, as well as professionals, may assume that these improvements have been made, they have not investigated the concrete proof of it.  Telehealth has become a great benefit to patients in widespread rural areas, with those with severe phobias, and others.  

Therapy sessions as well as vital signs can be transmitted over secure communication lines in a reliable manner.  Providers that have kept up with the latest technologies may only require minor hardware and software upgrades to provide tele-mental health.  They most likely have security standards in place if they are already transmitting patient information.

The important thing to note is that all of the technology and security individuals may fear get lost on telemedicine are already in daily use.  Responsible providers make confidentiality a top priority, and the use of technology has its own security standards.  So there is no longer a reason to be skeptical.

The American Telemedicine Association is in the process of compiling a list of standards for use among all telemedicine providers.  While many providers already hold to these standards, it is important they appear in writing for the purposes of adherence and continuity of care.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles is taking steps toward providing telemedicine in mental health and drug treatment.  As we cling to stringent standards at our facilities, the same is true as we move forward in this area.  We already follow confidentiality guidelines and secure technology standards, and will bring those into telemedicine.

We currently provide mental health treatment as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare in alcohol and drug treatment.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependence, drug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

E Therapy

by James Heller 28. December 2009 14:21
E-Therapy is the term generally given to online mental health treatment.  It is the not-so-new means of treating individuals with mental health disorders.  And as technology and security has improved, so has the potential for more individuals to use this type of treatment.

E-Therapy emerged in the late 1990s as a means of convenient and simple therapy over the internet for minor issues.  Early on, legal and confidentiality issues prevented online psychotherapy and psychology.  Only basic life problems and marital counseling was available.

With more secure online applications and better access to the internet, E-Therapy has grown to include even some major mental health issues like depression and anxiety.  So many more patients in outpatient mental health treatment can now access a lot of the services from home.

Conventional treatment providers are now working towards providing mental health treatment over the internet.  Centers that have kept up with the latest technologies will certainly find it easier to make the move to E-Therapy.  With the security and technology already in place, it will only require a few steps rather than a large leap, technologically speaking.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles has been diligent in our efforts to maintain the highest technological standards available.  By staying up to date with the latest hardware and software, and maintaining exacting standards to comply with HIPAA laws, we are always ready to offer the latest forms of treatment to our patients.  We plan to use our technology to provide online treatment to many of our patients in the near future.

The excerpt below is from a post on eHow.com that gives advice to those seeking E-Therapy.  The points of advice, whether on purpose or not, also point out some advantages to this form of mental health treatment.

-- Begin external content --

eTherapy is one of the fastest growing aspects of the mental health industry, and involves seeking counseling for various mental illnesses online. Rather than meeting a therapist in his office, you can work out your problems from the privacy of your own home, using digital communication. However, you have to be committed to eTherapy in order for it to work for you.

-- Source: http://www.ehow.com/how_2323524_benefit-from-etherapy.html --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides mental health treatment as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare in alcohol and drug treatment.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependence or drug addiction with co-occurring mental health disorders, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Using Technology in Alcohol and Drug Treatment - Reception Log

by James Heller 2. November 2009 13:56
A lot has been said in recent months about the use of technology in health care.  Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to innovate and improve the way it uses technology in alcohol and drug treatment.  Applications are used in every aspect of our work from customer service, to productivity, to reporting.

Starting with our Reception Log, customer service is streamlined at our front door.  This application is used by all of our staff members who meet with our clients and visitors.  Our receptionist enters information about the client or visitor and who they came to see.  The time is automatically recorded and the staff member is notified with the visitor’s name and purpose.  

Staff is responsible for each individual assigned to them.  Whether individuals have an appointment or not, staff will greet them and either meet with them or set a later appointment.  The Reception Log application follows each individual until they have been admitted to treatment or they depart the facility.  

The Reception Log is valuable for customer service because it cuts down on wait times in the lobby.  Admissions staff, for example, can see that a new patient is in the lobby and deliver paperwork to them, getting the process to admit started.  This is important to new patients and their families, especially if they are in need of alcohol or drug detox treatment.

In terms of productivity, counselors and technicians in our residential rehab, outpatient, and medical detoxification units view the log so they can be ready for the arrival of new patients.  This alerts staff to free time for new arrivals, but it also gives inpatient staff members time to make sure they feel welcome.  For detox this is especially important as new arrivals typically are in the early to mid stages of withdrawal.

Tarzana Treatment Centers provides many services through various private and government funding sources.  The Reception Log allows us to quickly produce reports when requested, and we can do so while maintaining our strict confidentiality standards.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles uses technology to provide all of our services as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare in alcohol and drug treatment.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependence or drug addiction, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.