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Telehealth for the Mental Health Professions: Constructive and Evidence-Based Tips for Practicing Safely, Efficiently, and Legally

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Order Code :TELE
• 2021  86pp   ISBN: 9781568872315
• 8½" x 11" paperback

This outstanding resource will help you learn about the concepts of using technology in mental health. The author, Susan Litton, is a practicing psychologist and IT professional, and can convince you that using video and other technology is not quite as difficult or unsafe as you might have thought. Litton demonstrates the things that can truly be problematic and teaches you how to avoid them.  When you finish this book, you should be able to display not only expertise in your virtual presence, but also competence in the standards and care of telehealth as it applies to your profession, including, but not limited to, topics such as: 

• Security and transmission of digital data and information
• Telehealth standards of care
• Informed consent requirements for telehealth
• Interjurisdictional practice issues (primarily within the U.S. but touching on issues in other countries)
• Confidentiality as it applies to telehealth
• Issues around disposal of data and information
• Performing assessments with telehealth
• Diversity issues in telehealth

Once you understand the concepts, you will be able to make wise choices for using technology in your practice with whatever new thing comes along. Also, there is a focus on solutions, not just abstract concepts, and the reader will walk away with action-oriented plans you can begin to implement right away.

"Stop worrying! Susan has done your homework for you! If you feel overwhelmed by HIPAA and rules and regulations and software and hardware – relax. Help is here. Susan has figured these things out. Don’t worry. Be happy. Keep it simple. Just do what Susan recommends.... What a relief!"
     -David Woodsfellow, PhD, The Woodsfellow Institute for Couples Therapy, Atlanta, GA

"With a foundation of training and experience in clinical psychology and information technology, Dr. Litton provides a concise and comprehensive guide to the complex technical and regulatory requirements related to telehealth. Written in a refreshingly readable style, this innovative resource is a telehealth instructional manual that is densely packed with practical solutions."
     -William F. Doverspike, PhD, ABPP, Adjunct Professor, Clinical Psychology Doctoral Training Program, Emory University

"What are often called 'tips' are expertise in tiny bundles. Susan Litton’s new book is just such a collection. . . . [Her] book is a solid introduction to telehealth and reading it will reduce any anxiety and guide any clinician to enter and explore using telehealth in their practice."
     -Edward L. Zuckerman, PhD, co-author of The Paper Office for the Digital Age (5th ed.)

Table of Contents
What Exactly is Telehealth?
HIPAA Compliance
     HIPAA-Compliant Software?
     Business Associate Agreements (BAA)
          What is a Business Associate?
          Why Bother?
          You Might Want to Read Your BAAs
Telehealth: Video
     Do I Really Need HIPAA-Compliant Video
     Types of Video Software
          Native Apps
          Best Practices for Achieving Good Quality Video Sessions
     User-Friendly vs. Safe
     Other Considerations When Choosing a Video Product
     Video Software Summary
Your Virtual Presence
     Lighting, Lighting, Lighting!
     Virtual Backgrounds
Practice Management Software
     Online vs. Desktop
          What is Cloud/Online Computing?
          Advantages of Online Applications
          Advantages of Desktop Applications
          Safety of Online Applications
     Setting Up a Telehealth Office
          Your Equipment
          Presession Considerations
          The Session
          Postsession Tasks
          Online File Storage
          Notes and Dictation
     EHRs and Portals
          A Backward Look: Meaningful Use
          ONC Health IT Certified EHRs vs. Non-ONC Certified EHRs
          So . . . What is an EHR Really?
          The ONC’s Cures Act Rule, aka “OpenNotes”
          Some Hopeful New Directions
          A Deeper Dive into Non-ONC Certified Behavioral Health EHRs
          The State HIE Cooperative Agreement Program
Insurance and Billing
Legal and Ethical Issues
     Risk Management
          Telehealth Informed Consent
     Originating Sites and Interjurisdictional Practice Issues
     Performing Assessments With Telehealth
     Diversity Issues in Telehealth
     General Ethical Issues
          Resolving/Reporting Ethical Violations
          Retention of Records
          Recording Video (or Phone) Sessions
          Interruption of Services
          Security and Transmission of Data
     Implementing HIPAA
          State and Local Laws
          The HIPAA Privacy Rule 
          The HIPAA Security Rule

CE Program
A supplemental 3-credit, 27 question continuing education program is available for this book.  To order the complete program (this book and CE test module, or test module alone if you already have access to this book), go to: Telehealth for the Mental Health Professions: Constructive and Evidence-Based Tips for Practicing Safely, Efficiently, and Legally - CE Program (3 Credits/Hours)

For information about our approved continuing education sponsorships
and acceptance by state boards, please click here:
Continuing Education

About the Author
Susan C. Litton, PhD, BFA, holds degrees in both mental health and IT and is actively engaged with careers in both. In mental health, Dr. Litton has been a clinical psychologist in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia, since 1985.  In IT, she is the creator and driving force behind PSYBooks (, an online practice management system and portal for mental health professionals and their patients.

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