Technology - small web

This page will help teams assess their technology services and operational platforms to ensure smooth interaction and ED support.


Technology looks at the ways an organization runs its services and operational processes. That technology can be customer-facing applications, business-critical production, or back office financial systems. These technologies can range from simplistic, such as a telephone. They can also be more complex. For example, a hospital's full integration of a cloud-based portal with its electronic medical record (EMR).

Technology can enhance your team’s work, but it can also add a layer of complexity your team may not be ready for. As your team builds its work plan, there are several considerations for technology and how it can make or break your efforts.

Benefits of Technology

Benefits to the ED could look like:

  • Easier access to mental and behavioral health services, particularly in rural or geographically dispersed areas.
  • Increased access to mental and behavioral health professionals.
  • Enhanced access to community resources.
  • Decreases in repeat visits by patients.
  • Accessing asynchronous opportunities to learn rather than taking time during the work day.

Benefits to the PMCHA team could look like:

  • Enhanced productivity capability to reach a larger number of providers.
  • More efficient data collection by team members.
  • Improved measures for safety and data protection.
  • Increased capacity of the team to work with ED providers.
  • Create more capacity by creating asynchronous ways to reach and engage ED providers.

Types of Technology

Your team may consider several types of technology. Your chosen work path may inform that decision. Examples of technology include but are certainly not limited to:

  • Telephone
  • Text Messaging
  • Teleconferencing Platforms
  • Cloud-Based Services
  • Websites
  • Marketing and Communications Platforms
  • Databases

Application of Technology by PMHCA Teams

PMHCA teams have used technology in various ways during their ED work. Below are some examples of how PMHCA teams have leveraged technology:

  • Implementation of an automated database to more efficiently intake data from providers and to better organize the data for internal analysis.
  • Weekly office hours hosted via a teleconferencing platform between PMHCA child psychiatrists and ED providers to conduct case reviews and provide guidance on addressing situations.
  • Leveraging HIPAA-protected text messaging instead of phone calls to better partner ED providers.
  • Using web-based communication platforms to automate messaging and reach providers faster and more efficiently.

As you start exploring different technologies, you must consider both the internal and external implications of each technology. Below are some considerations:

Internal Infrastructure – Your PMHCA Team

Technology can increase team bandwidth and capacity, but it requires additional training and maintenance. Teams must assess what they can realistically implement.

Considerations for Your Team

  • Time and resources spent on training team members on new technology.
  • Dedicated person(s) for managing technology and troubleshooting when necessary.
  • Creating standard operating procedures for technology platforms.
  • If technology goes down, have a backup plan while there is downtime.
  • Training is necessary for ED providers. Who from your team will provide that training?
  • Involve your team’s legal counsel in determining if a technology is appropriate for use.

External Use – EDs You Work With:

Technology can lower costs by providing asynchronous methods of engaging with Emergency Departments (EDs). It can also help teams reach those with geographical barriers. However, any technology that is introduced may require training and support. Teams should determine what level of training and support is needed for the EDs they work with.

Considerations to the ED

  • Time that is needed to train providers and their staff.
  • On-going training and tutorials for new staff.
  • Any costs associated with implementing that technology with the ED.
  • Understand the security parameters and potential limitations of certain technologies, such as HIPAA-protected platform.
  • Include the IT and Legal departments of the ED when considering a technology.
  • Dedicate a person(s) for managing technology and troubleshooting when necessary.

No matter what technologies you select, it's important to work with the ED and their legal and IT departments to ensure that it's aligned with both group’s capabilities for implementation and management. This will help ensure a successful and productive technology integration into the work.

Internal Assessment for Teams

Preparing your team for expansion into Emergency Departments (EDs) involves thorough assessment and planning. Assess the technology services and operational platforms available to your team to determine systems needed for seamless integration into the ED.

Here are some important questions to consider to determine your team's technological needs:

For helpful links to resources, visit our PMHCA Resource Library!