Virtual Psychiatrist

Blame it on Google Voice, Skype and Google Hangouts, and texting which have substantially reduced my need for office space. October 1 I will leave my traditional dedicated office for a furnished office or meeting room in an executive suite that allows me to vary my scheduled time to conduct in-person encounters with patients and forensic subjects from month to month as needed. With patient records in the cloud, and a bank nearby (for cash deposits) I can carry everything else I need in a small backpack:

  • Drug coupons
  • Deposit slips
  • Granola bar
  • Chromebook
  • Surface Pro tablet computer
  • Credit card swiper for my smart phone
  • Oral fluid drug test kits (and dice to randomize)
  • Appointment cards
  • Lab requisitions
  • Miscellaneous forms
  • Other items brought from home as needed

I will miss my office manager’s presence, but she can continue her bookkeeping tasks as a contractor from home, and I believe I can learn how to take over the rest. I will print superbills at home to take to the encounter.

This setup may not work for everybody. I only practice 1-2 days per week, and I plan to stop accepting new patients soon. I am not a HIPAA covered entity. The shared offices will lack my personal touches, but that seems less important since I do no psychotherapy. We will also likely have to get used to working across a desk or meeting table.

 

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