Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work

Doctor of Nursing Practice Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Susan Hageness


Doctor of Nursing Practice


The challenge of providing behavioral health resources in rural hospital emergency departments is significant. Lack of access results in mental health patients facing delays in receiving an assessment, diagnosis, intervention, referral, and/or treatment plan to provide quality care and stabilization. Tele-video psychiatry has been useful in providing remote psychiatric services to rural areas that otherwise would not have access to such services. Qualified and licensed mental health professionals can assess and treat patients in another location using video-conferencing technology. This Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) project explored the implementation of telehealth technology in one western Wisconsin Emergency Department (ED) to improve the timeliness of treatment provided to mental health patients, and to also provide ED staff with a necessary tool to enhance treatment of behavioral health patients. Current processes were defined in addition to the Emergency Department staff being surveyed, to determine if there was a need for additional ED mental healthcare services. The qualitative results of the pre-implementation survey and data collection indicated that the use of tele-video psychiatry would be a useful tool, valued by staff, and contribute to improvements in the provision of quality mental health care for patients seeking treatment in the Emergency Department.