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Telemedicine Uses – Teen Alcohol and Drug Treatment

by James Heller 30. August 2010 08:49
It’s difficult enough raising adolescent children, and then you discover the reason for their recent behavior issues is due to alcohol abuse or drug abuse.  You cringe at the thought of admitting them to alcohol and drug treatment because, beyond the shock you feel, it seems like yet another burden to tackle.  But it is important, and you know it, and telemedicine may be the solution for your hesitation.

Adolescent alcohol abuse and drug abuse can tear the closest families apart.  It starts with failing grades, behavior problems, and new friends who give parents that “bad feeling”.  A gradual increase of difficult situations explodes when parents discover substance abuse among their youth, and exhaustion generally follows.  So many parents will just want to give up.  Adolescent alcohol and drug treatment seems beyond the breaking point.

Although it is logical to make an attempt at solving a problem, procrastination takes over for most parents of substance abusers due to stigma.  “What will the extended family/friends/neighbors think?”  When they get past that hindering feeling and call an alcohol and drug treatment center, they learn about the time and emotion involved and put it off again.  All the while, their teens are going further down a road toward alcoholism or drug addiction, crime, injury, and possibly death.  Time is of the essence.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles offers telemedicine as an answer to both the stigma and time issues.  Teens can attend counseling sessions via video conference from home, using a computer with a webcam.  Parents can attend family meetings in the same manner.  We even have the technology to conduct group sessions over a secured internet connection.  This cuts the time and cost of travel to our locations, and saves you the need to explain the daily family trips to others.

Our providers use the TherapyLiveVisit application, powered by MDLiveCare, which works in any web browser.  If you have a computer with internet access and a webcam, you can use Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, or any other browser to access the application.  LiveVisit operates behind several layers of encryption, so you can be certain that your consultations will be completely confidential.  

The term “telemedicine” encompasses all forms of health care including mental health treatment and addiction treatment.  In many cases of youth alcohol abuse and drug abuse, there are co-occurring mental health disorders that had gone previously undetected.  Tarzana Treatment Centers is recognized as a leader in providing mental health treatment to adolescents.  Our telemedicine staff includes addiction counselors and mental health professionals, as well as medical professionals.

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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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.

Technology in Alcohol and Drug Treatment: Telemedicine

by James Heller 22. October 2009 08:41
Mental health treatment and alcohol and drug treatment can be difficult to access for many people.  For several reasons, they are not able to make regular trips, if at all, to a mental health professional or treatment facility.  But as technology improves in healthcare, like with telemental health, so do the chances that these individuals will receive the treatment they need.

For those who live in rural and so-called frontier areas typically need to travel a long distance in order to receive treatment.  Those with physical disabilities might live close to an office or alcohol and drug treatment location, but have mobility issues and can’t always get there.  The problem of visiting an office or facility even affects those with social phobias who fear leaving their home.

Many individuals with substance abuse or mental health disorders that fit the descriptions above would like to receive treatment, but are hindered or blocked by these life circumstances.  These are only a few examples of people who need an answer to this problem.  But technology has an answer.

Telemental Health is a not-so-new way to treat mental health patients that is rapidly increasing in use, and showing promise in alcohol and drug treatment.  This use of technology falls under the category of programs using telemedicine or telehealth.  And while the name may bring to mind a radio call-in show, it is actually a whole range of services that mean convenience to patients, physicians, mental health and behavioral health professionals, and technicians.

Patients who cannot access treatment in person, and even those who can, get an added benefit from telemental health.  Sessions can be saved and reviewed again after they were completed.  And while progress notes are very helpful to behavioral and mental health professionals, it stands to reason that reviewing a video of the last session will remind them of visual ques.  This means better treatment for patients.

Professionals treating with telemedicine have the benefit of auto-recording of many tedious records and sessions.  Beyond that they can attend continuing education online, as well as seminars and meetings.  Psychiatrists and Medical Doctors can also track patients’ medications, and even control in-home units that deliver medication to bedridden patients.

Telemedicine is especially valuable to those who require regular testing and monitoring.  In-home devices run tests and upload information to lab technicians and doctors.  So instead of running around to different labs all day, as can be the norm for some, most tests can be run without leaving the front door.

HalthcareITNews.com reported on a new telehealth partnership between Google and MDLiveCare.  The portion of the article below expands on patient benefits in telemedicine.  In time, this may be a solution for patients who have trouble attending alcohol and drug treatment programs.

-- Begin external content --

"Patients remember less than 25 percent of what they're told when they consult with a doctor," said Bob Smoley, the CEO of MDLiveCare. "By directly synchronizing the information that's shared during telehealth consultations with electronic patient health records, we're able to provide patients with a convenient solution to review their physician or therapist encounters, time and time again, which significantly increases patient awareness and treatment compliance. This integration allows us to further empower patients with better access to all of their health information and to provide a service unprecedented in medicine today."

-- Source: http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/google-health-adds-telehealth-services-mix --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides residential and outpatient alcohol and drug treatment, and uses the latest technology in all of our services as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare.  If you or a loved one needs help for 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.