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NC-STeP was developed in response to Session Law 2013-360 (PDF) directing the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Rural Health and Community Care to “oversee and monitor establishment and administration of a statewide telepsychiatry program.”

The N.C. Statewide Telepsychiatry Program (NC-STeP) program anticipates connecting 80 or more hospital emergency departments across the state of North Carolina to provide psychiatric assessments and consultations to patients linked using telemedicine technologies in these Emergency Departments.


The vision of NC-STeP is to assure that if an individual experiencing an acute behavioral health crisis enters an emergency department of a hospital anywhere in the state of North Carolina, s/he receives timely specialized psychiatric treatment through this program.


  • Reduce patient lengths of stay in hospital emergency departments (reduce psych holds to less than 48 hrs.)
  • Reduce number of Involuntary Commitments (IVC) by eliminating unnecessary admissions
  • Improve patient transition to aftercare and reduce ED recidivism
  • Increase efficiency and reduce costs

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