Wyoming has the highest suicide rate in the nation, yet is ranked 49th of 50 states for the number of psychiatrists we have per capita, according to Dr. Tom Richards of Sheridan.
Now, Sheridan-based Ptolemy Data Systems has partnered with Dr. Richards and several other Wyoming companies to bring more psychiatric healthcare to Wyoming communities via high-definition videoconferencing services. Starting this fall, they will be connecting rural medical facilities with regional clinicians. Dr. Richards of Apollo Telemedicine:
Dr. Richards says the success of Tele-psychiatry “is dependent on developing a highly-secure system” to ensure adherence to patient privacy codes. Ptolemy will provide both the videoconferencing services and also high-availability network security, necessary for the project.
Implementation and oversight is being coordinated by Sheridan County's Forward Sheridan. Executive Director, Jay Stender:
Tele-psychiatry is an initiative funded during the 2010 legislative session by the Wyoming Department of Health, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Division.