Telehealth Pearls, Pitfalls, and Strategies to Improve Patient Experience

‌‌‌Original Webinar Date: 7/20/20

Telehealth has been in use for years across multiple settings, but in the age of COVID has seen an unprecedented and unexpected explosion in popularity. Many mental health providers who previously utilized only traditional face-to-face encounters now find themselves forced by circumstance to adapt to new technologies and new ways of interacting with their patients. This recorded session discusses some of the benefits of a telehealth practice, as well as reviewing the risks. Dr. James Armontrout places particular emphasis on discussions of potential pitfalls, both legal and clinical, that may be encountered in the telehealth setting. This presentation discusses tips for improving the telehealth experience for both patient and provider, gleaned from a review of relevant literature and from Dr. Armontrout’s own experience providing telehealth services in settings ranging from outpatient clinics to high security correctional settings. The recording also includes questions from participants related to their own experience with telehealth.


Learning Objectives

  • Explore strengths and limitations of telehealth visits compared to traditional visits.
  • Learn ways to manage expected challenges, including emergencies, when running a telehealth clinic.
  • Understand risks of telehealth, including risks to privacy and situations that might give rise to legal liability.


Audience: Any clinical mental health professionals with an interest in telehealth.


Dr. Armontrout headshotDr. James Armontrout is a staff psychiatrist with the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. He works full-time in a residential treatment program specializing in treating PTSD, other trauma-based disorders, and substance abuse. He also instructs and supervises Stanford medical students and residents completing rotations in the Trauma Recovery Program. Dr. Armontrout also has a private practice performing Independent Medical Evaluations of individuals involved in legal proceedings. Among other scholarly interests Dr. Armontrout has authored articles about the risks of mobile mental health applications (mHealth) and has served as a member of the Technology Committee with the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law since 2017.

Dr. Armontrout received both his B.A. in Psychology and his M.D. from the University of Virginia. He completed residency training in Psychiatry at the Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Training Program, followed by fellowship training in Forensic Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. He is board certified in Psychiatry with Added Qualification in Forensic Psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

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