Every year at APA's annual meeting, there are numerous workshops, courses, and symposia on various topics germane to meeting attendees. In particular, health information technology has been a focal point for the Obama administration with an economic stimulus plan that encourages adoption of electronic prescribing and electronic health records. This article highlights the offerings at APA's 2010 annual meeting that will help stimulate use of information technology in mental health.
Please note that separate registration is required for courses.
• Annual meeting of the American Association for Technology in Pscychiatry
Topics include brain stimulation, boundaries on the Internet, augmented/virtual reality, and current issues on health care technology. There will be both lectures and breakout sessions on these topics, and people in breakout sessions will serve as work groups to define practice guidelines for the organization. Attendees of all levels of expertise are encouraged to attend to discuss these issues with experts in this domain. Additional information is posted at <www.techpsych.org/meeting2010.htm>.
• Workshop: Ethical, Clinical, and Legal Challenges Created by Information Technology
Attendees will learn about how use of e-mail, electronic medical records, and social networking sites will affect the practice of psychiatry. The presenters will explore ethical issues and clinical implications and review legal risks as well as ways to mitigate them.
• Course 20: How to Blog, Tweet, Friend, Wiki, and Not Get Addicted: The 21st Century Internet Technologies for Beginners
Participants will review social networking sites, blogs, wikis, virtual worlds, and pathological computer use. The faculty will discuss use of Twitter and Facebook as methods of communication and education. Participants will create their own profiles on social networking sites, edit Wikipedia, and write their own blogs. There will be hands-on participation, so bring your laptop and learn. This course is geared to novices.
• Course 42: Exploring Technologies in Psychiatry
Participants will review various hardware and software as well as Web sites that facilitate access to information, communication, and delivery of health care. This course is designed for intermediate computer experts, and it will assist busy clinicians in discovering what tools they need for their practice. Course participants are encouraged to bring their laptops as well as questions for the course instructors.
• Workshop: The Explosion of Social Media: Why, Where, When, and How Can Psychiatrists Catch Up With the Trend?
Attendees will learn how social network sites such as Facebook and MySpace became so popular and explore how patients are using them. The presenters will review what psychiatrists need to know in terms of how these sites impact their patients' behavior patterns, access to information, and lifestyle.
• Workshop: If Patients Google Me, What Will They Find? The Information Age and Its Impact on Residency Training
The wealth of information about individuals on the Internet will be exposed and explored. Attendees will learn how search engines discover information beyond professional information such as pictures and comments posted on Flickr and Amazon. Resident physicians often utilize many Web sites without first understanding the impact of their postings, which may cross boundaries of professionalism and privacy.
• Workshop: Telepsychiatry and the Changing Face of Access for Rural America's Children and Adolescents
Many rural communities have limited or no access to general psychiatry, and specialists in child and adolescent psychiatry are an even more scarce resource. Attendees will discover how telepsychiatry bridges the access gap for child and adolescent patients.
• Workshop: The Train Has Left the Station: National Incentives and Developments in Electronic Health Records
Attendees will review how the Obama administration has incentivized physicians to implement electronic health records and electronic prescribing. The details of what needs to be done to generate increased reimbursement will be highlighted along with how organizations and regional networks are creating electronic health records to increase utilization.
Over the years, the number of information technology—oriented workshops and courses at APA's annual meeting has been diminishing. This trend reflects the increasing use and comfort that many attendees have with e-mail, video conferencing, and various Web sites such as social networks, health search engines, and so on. The workshops and courses listed here no longer merely introduce novel concepts or technologies, but serve to define and refine how these technologies are used in everyday practice. I look forward to seeing you in New Orleans.