The Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project is a public system for improving access to care for children with mental health problems in which the provision of telephone consultation by child psychiatry teams to pediatric primary care providers (PCPs) plays a central role. In this article, the practice of telephone consultation within this system is explored through the examination of case studies, demonstrating its use in common clinical scenarios. The telephone consultations provide immediate case-based clinical education, and also serve as a gateway for the provision of as-needed direct child psychiatry evaluation and care coordination services. Most importantly, the telephone consultations build sustaining collaborative relationships, enhancing the ability of PCPs to meet the needs of children with mental health problems.
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