The foundation Transparant Next provides GPs in Leiden and surroundings with online psychiatric consultations. Many GPs use this option. The online consultation is immediate and referrals are avoided. The foundation has been founded by Transparant and local mental health services in collaboration with GPs. Vital Health Software has designed the software. Below follows a description of how this works in practice.
In step 1 a GP diagnoses a patient with mental problems and does not know at what level help should be provided. In step 2 the GP or nurse practitioner for mental healthcare (POH GGZ) asks the patients to fill out a digital questionnaire. This is called the Screener Transparant Next. The nurse practitioner prepares the questionnaire and sends the patient a link. The nurse practitioner receives a message as soon as the patient is done. If patients prefer to do so, they can also fill out the questionnaire at the doctor’s practice together with the nurse practitioner.
Based on the outcomes of the questionnaire, an automatic advice is issued. This tells in which echelon the patient should preferably be treated. When treatment by the GP and his or her nurse practitioner is preferable, the website offers them all the necessary information and treatment options. The patient’s screening list is automatically saved in the GP’s record.
When referral to a psychiatrist is necessary, the list, complemented with comments written by the GP, can be safely transmitted online to a specialised mental healthcare institution. By now, a thousand patients have been screened and 500 patients have been seen for consultation; half of them were able to remain with their GP.
I learnt all this during a lecture given by psychiatrist Liesbeth van Londen, the initiator of the Transparant Next programme. This lecture took place in Barcelona on the 24th of May, during the sixteenth congress of the International Foundation of Integrated Care. I am the chair of that foundation. I am pleased to say that parallel sessions yielded many good examples, from numerous countries, of integrated mental healthcare. The lectures will soon be published on the IFIC website. Liesbeth van Londen’s PowerPoint presentation can be found here.