News and Events

We believe in the next generation of telemedicine

George L. Vergolias
March 31, 2017

The first use of an early-stage technology is typically to do something you’re already doing faster and more efficiently. One of the simplest examples is the internet, and one of its earliest uses – email. Email is simply faster, more efficient mail.

 

Future adoptions of a technology tend to do new things. Going back to the internet example, early email users probably never conceived of being able to get a ride home using the internet, or share photos with loved ones, or do their taxes, or any of the other myriad things that the internet is used for regularly today.

 

Telemedicine is an early-stage technology, and its current uses provide things we’re already doing – frequently consulting with a healthcare provider – faster and more efficiently. Similarly, in the peer review space, the first generation has been to deliver a peer review or independent medical examination faster and more efficiently.

 

We believe the next phase of telemedicine will enable a leap in services quality. Current studies by private companies, government agencies, and academic institutions indicate that telemedicine can be on par with face-to-face services, and in some cases improve outcomes. Beyond those studies, we see a simple correlation with telemedicine and our belief that the optimal network to deliver services is an active network that fits the need.

 

Telemedicine allows the network required to deliver services to shrink further by removing some of the geographic requirements, allowing us to use only the very best clinicians, provide them additional ongoing training and frequent cases on which to hone their skills. This network optimization results in a much higher level of quality, rather than simply creating efficiencies with an overly-large network. It’s not a way to hide a deficient network, but a method by which to avoid the pitfalls (high turnover, infrequent cases) of a network too large to maintain quality.

George Vergolias

VP, Medical Director

About the Author: George Vergolias, PsyD, LP is a forensic psychologist and threat management expert serving as Vice President and Medical Director for the R3 Continuum. As part of his role of Vice President and Medical Director of R3 Continuum, he leads their Threat of violence and workplace violence programs. Dr. Vergolias is also the founder and President of TelePsych Supports, a tele-mental health company providing involuntary commitment and crisis risk evaluations for hospitals and emergency departments. He has over 20 years of forensic experience with expertise in the following areas: violence risk and threat management, psychological dynamics of stalking, sexual offending, emotional trauma, civil and involuntary commitment, suicide and self-harm, occupational disability, law enforcement consultation, expert witness testimony, and tele-mental health. Dr. Vergolias has directly assessed or managed over one thousand cases related to elevated risk for violence or self-harm, sexual assault, stalking, and communicated threats. He has consulted with regional, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, Secret Service, and Bureau of Prisons. He has worked for and consulted with Fortune 500 companies, major insurance carriers, government agencies, and large healthcare systems on issues related to work absence management, workplace violence, medical necessity reviews, and expert witness consultation.