Nefsis Video Conferencing Selected by CarePartners of Georgia
for Remote Clinic Support and Telepsychiatry
CarePartners of Georgia is a community-based behavioral healthcare provider that provides
services to children in rural areas. In this state, the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health
and Developmental Disabilities made a commitment to children and young adults, ages 4 to 22,
that the health services they required could be served in their home communities.
Rural areas designated as a health professional shortage area (HPSA), are all within 90 miles
of Macon, Savannah, or Augusta. It is very difficult to fully staff psychologists and healthcare
professionals in these low-density areas. As a result, CarePartners’ staff would drive children and
their families to one of the three major cities for their scheduled psychiatric appointments. Paying
staff to drive up to five hours each day for one appointment, along with high gas and vehicle maintenance
costs, created several barriers to patient care improvement.
- CarePartners of Georgia sought a reliable and affordable video
conferencing solution to reduce patient transportation expenses.
- Nefsis, a secure, cloud-based video
conferencing online service with no hardware
Business and IT Benefits:
- Nefsis provided an effective
in-person meeting replacement, epanding the reach and
frequency of patient contact.
- Improved patient retention rates.
- Improved crisis-response capacity.
- Better online security — Nefsis encrypted
communications uses signed certificates and public key
infrastructure (PKI), an industry standard secure
communications method familiar to most IT staff.
With hardware-based video conferencing solutions being too expensive for a small company,
David Crooke, CEO of CarePartners of Georgia, came across Secure Telehealth, a Pittsburgh-based
company that provides a secure, web-based platform for telepsychiatry over the Internet. Secure
Telehealth partners with Nefsis web and video conferencing, a cloud-based online service.
"Telepsychiatry is an effective way to provide access to psychiatric care
for individuals living in underserved areas," says Jim Mountain, president of Secure Telehealth.
"It has become one of the most successful of all the telemedicine applications because its practitioners
don’t need to touch their patients to treat them. We have found web-based video conferencing to be an
effective service-delivery method."
On-Demand Video Conferencing
Nefsis provides CarePartners a secure, on-demand video conferencing online service. Nefsis uses cloud
computing to eliminate the need for on-premise, hardware infrastructure that is expensive and difficult
to maintain. For Nefsis users, all that is required is a personal computer, Internet access, and virtually
any webcam or video peripheral. Videoconference participants just click on a web link
and all the software is downloaded dynamically in real-time.
CarePartners’ psychologists and physicians are able to conduct assessments, therapy, and medical checks
securely from any location, office or home. The Nefsis cloud secures the video conference through industry
standard SSL/TLS encryption measures, helping CarePartners of Georgia comply with HIPAA requirements.
CarePartners set up two separate video conferencing clinics and the rural communities of Georgia began
to see immediate, positive results. Families only had to travel 30 minutes or less to a local clinic to be
seen at any time. Once the initial assessment was complete, follow-up appointments could be more easily
scheduled, enhancing the retention rates of the program.
Telepsychiatry also improved rural communities’ crisis-response capacity. Previously, during a behavioral
health crisis, children would have to go to their local emergency room and wait several hours before seen by a
physician. Now during emergencies, a psychiatrist can be called through Nefsis video conferencing at anytime,
immediately, and assess if the child needs hospitalization.
Saving Time and Costs of Travel
Nefsis video conferencing saved CarePartners the costs associated with patient transportation to its offices.
Telepsychiatry helped CarePartners to run more efficiently and improve reach and frequency of patient care. In
addition, video conferencing provided the flexibility to reallocate budget from fuel costs toward new areas of
"With Secure Telehealth, our overhead to provide psychiatric services has
drastically dropped, and we have been able to increase our revenue by providing additional services to the
community," says Kathy Durden, COO of CarePartners of Georgia.
"We have become a much more efficient organization with telepsychiatry and
are looking to expand our mental health services to other rural communities in Georgia. Since Secure
Telehealth/Nefsis is an online managed service, it is automatically maintained and easier to expand as we
grow without the financial risk of making a hardware investment."
Within the first six months of using Nefsis video conferencing, CarePartners realized a 350 percent
return on its minimal investment in the technology.
Durden’s response, "I think the ROI and our 95 percent member
satisfaction rate for the service indicates that so far, telepsychiatry is exceeding all expectations in
those three areas and is greatly helping our organization in terms of clinical effectiveness and efficacy."
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