July 9, 2021

TBC News Story

If there is one thing 2020 taught us, it is the value of strong collaboration tools. We found ourselves forced into a world where the show must go on, but work quality could not be sacrificed. Professionals everywhere were faced with a new set of obstacles, and mental health providers were no exception. 

The trauma brought on by COVID-19 increased the demand for mental health care tremendously. The team at the Texas A&M Telebehavioral Care Program (TBC) found themselves not only balancing a dramatically increased caseload in an indefinite work from home environment but were also challenged with the task of maintaining support for their trainees who had to work from home.

The TBC is one of a few telemental health training programs in the world, providing telehealth services to rural and underserved populations since 2009 with a hub and spoke model of care. Clinical Assistant Director, Dr. Carly McCord, and her team needed a tool to provide trainees with easy access to chat rooms and video calling with supervisors and licensed providers.

Enter Microsoft Teams.

In March 2020, the Texas A&M Division of Information Technology was preparing for the launch of Microsoft 365. Once the lockdown hit, the launch timeline was accelerated to provide a solution to the inevitable need to collaborate remotely. Dr. McCord, who had already been searching for a reliable telehealth platform, quickly jumped at the solution. 

“As a training clinic, we have some unique needs that most telehealth platforms cannot provide. With Microsoft Teams, we were able to provide supervision to trainees, create a file-sharing hub for critical documentation and data, and quickly communicate with the team all at once without the fear of leaving anyone out,” said the TBC’s Senior Program Coordinator, Kaylee Jackson.

Even as we step out of the world of lockdown and into the “new normal,” Microsoft 365 maintains its relevance. Just this week, one of the team's licensed psychologists successfully ran a group therapy appointment via Microsoft Teams. The TBC plans to continue using Microsoft Teams to provide a hybrid working environment, while excitedly waiting for more developments with the platform. 

“I cannot wait to see how Microsoft Teams continues to evolve, especially in the healthcare realm. Imagine the scenarios it could create for training environments!” said Dr. McCord. 

To showcase the platform's diverse variety of applications and solutions, the Division of IT has partnered with Microsoft to launch an extensive training series. Designed specifically for Texas A&M employees, these training sessions help campus members gain the most out of the powerful new productivity and collaboration features. Training sessions for Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 are available throughout the summer.