Patient- or person-centered healthcare confronts us with questions on how to deliver quality, affordable, and timely care in a variety of settings. The international history of medicine, patient-centered care models, healthcare financing, and use of technology frame how e-mental health (eMH) develops, is employed, and positively influences outcomes. Models of care and patient-centered approaches are steering eMH services forward from in-person to videoconferencing to online formats—technology complements existing traditional medical approaches. Telemedicine empowers patients, personalizes care, increases administrative efficiency, and ensures expertise gets to the place it is most needed—wherever the patient is. Telepsychiatry, as the oldest eMH application, is effective, well accepted, and comparable to in-person care. As we employ technology, we must maintain high-quality clinical care and professional standards and be sensitive to differences in participants. Good care requires evaluation and attends to clinical, legal, reimbursement about the technological issues. eMH may soon reshape healthcare service delivery particularly as telepsychiatry appears better for some disorders and in some models of care than traditional in-person approaches; online services will boost this shift even more. Mental health providers may soon practice in-person, virtually, or both.
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