Nefsis Web & Video Conferencing
   Case Study: CarePartners of Georgia

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Nefsis Video Conferencing Selected by CarePartners of Georgia for Remote Clinic Support and Telepsychiatry

Read full-length story as published in Health Management Technology

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 infrastructure requirements.

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 patient care.

"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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