eHealth services for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
The aim of the eCAP project is to improve the quality and availability of psychiatric services for children and adolescent up to 18 years. The project test site is the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic (CAP) at the University hospital of North Norway in Tromsø , which provides diagnosing and treatment to children with mental health issues in the region.
The clinic works together with the children’s families, as well as primary health care, public health nurses, schools, child welfare authorities and other hospital clinics.
The clinic serves large geographic areas. The three departments cover from five municipalities to the whole of North Norway. The travel to meet specialists at the hospital can take several hours. By joining the eCAP project, the Clinic have engaged in developing services to meet the challenges it faces faces when providing specialist health services in a large geographical area.
The Clinic will offer videoconference-based services to children and adolescents who has to travel long distances to get treatment at the hospital or if absence from school is not wanted. Treatment will also be available to patients who are unable to travel due to their mental health problems.
Videoconference consultations will be used to complement face-to-face consultations and to reach patients who for different reasons do not want to travel to the hospital. The plan is to offer a combination of face-to-face and videoconference consultations, but treatment only by videoconference may also be possible, especially if the patient lives far away from hospital.
Patients and their families will use videoconference studios in their own communities; public health centres, GP offices, etc. It is also possible that the patients will connect to videoconferences using their own personal equipment. However, several risk factors need to be assessed and addressed before launching this service.
Services are also tailored to meet the needs for counselling of the patient’s family as well as local therapists and other professionals contributing to the treatment of children and adolescents in their own community. Three municipalities are recruited to participating in developing these services before they are made available to all municipalities in the region.