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Monday, May 20, 2019

WMCHealth’s First-of-its-Kind TeleCourt Program Allows Behavioral Health Patients to Participate Remotely in Mental Hygiene Hearings

TeleCourt Initiative is a Collaboration Between WMCHealth, NYS Unified Court System and Mental Hygiene Legal Services

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Westchester Medical Center, the flagship of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), has established a first-of-its-kind program in New York State that makes it possible for patients at WMCHealth’s Behavioral Health Center to virtually attend mental hygiene hearings without leaving the hospital. 

Under the auspices of Lawrence K. Marks, Chief Administrative Judge of the New York State Unified Court System, the videoconferencing pilot program permits patients to voluntarily attend treatment and retention proceedings under Article 9 of the Mental Hygiene Law through the use of remote, secure, HIPAA-compliant real-time video conferencing.

“We believe that TeleCourt will enhance the efficiency and safety of Mental Hygiene Law hearings while maintaining our patients’ right to due process,” said Stephen Ferrando, MD, Director of Psychiatry at the Westchester Medical Center Health Network.  “This pilot program is a logical extension of our significant investment in our telehealth platform in a variety of settings across WMCHealth.  The quality of this technology allows the court to still meet its primary responsibility of providing a fair hearing for patients.”

TeleCourt is a collaboration between Westchester Medical Center, the NYS Unified Court System and Mental Hygiene Legal Services. During TeleCourt hearings, the patient, the patient’s attorney, Mental Hygiene Legal Services and other personnel are present at Westchester Medical Center, while the presiding judge and court reporter are at the courthouse. 

In addition to state-of-the-art videoconferencing equipment, the TeleCourt room at Westchester Medical Center contains all of the furnishings and appurtenances of a courtroom. 

TeleCourt joins WMCHealth’s robust suite of telemedicine services, providing the highest level of advanced care for patients across the Hudson Valley. 

WMCHealth’s telemedicine program was launched in 2015 to improve healthcare outcomes in New York’s 6,200-square-mile Hudson Valley region. At its core is the network’s 5,500-square-foot eHealth Center, with 20 multimedia stations equipped with the latest telehealth patient monitoring technologies and software.

WMCHealth telemedicine offerings include: eICU, ePsychiatry, eTrauma, eStroke, eNeonatology, eDermatology and STAT mobile ICU.

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 Stephen Ferrando, MD, Director of Psychiatry at WMCHealth, stands in the TeleCourt courtroom, located in the Behavioral Health Center in Valhalla.

 

 

Westchester Medical Center’s first-of-its-kind TeleCourt program makes it possible for patients at WMCHealth’s Behavioral Health Center to virtually attend mental hygiene hearings without leaving the hospital.