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Grand Itasca Announces Enhanced Care For Behavioral Health Patients In Emergency Department

2/24/2020
Grand Rapids, MN - Patients that present to the Grand Itasca Clinic & Hospital emergency department experiencing a behavioral health crisis are quickly assessed by a licensed mental health clinician through a new relationship with Behavioral Healthcare Providers (“BHP”). BHP is a non-profit behavioral health care organization providing assessments, treatment recommendations and care coordination to patients in 35 emergency rooms across the state of Minnesota. In collaboration with Grand Itasca’s emergency doctors and nursing staff, BHP clinicians work with the patient to understand their immediate and future needs. Their assessments are based on demonstrated best practices in emergency psychiatric care. BHP’s established network of resources means that the patients are either admitted to the nearest inpatient facility with an available bed or set up with appointments and connected to appropriate community providers prior to leaving Grand Itasca’s emergency department.
 
Grand Rapids, MN - Patients that present to the Grand Itasca Clinic & Hospital emergency department experiencing a behavioral health crisis are quickly assessed by a licensed mental health clinician through a new relationship with Behavioral Healthcare Providers (“BHP”). BHP is a non-profit behavioral health care organization providing assessments, treatment recommendations and care coordination to patients in 35 emergency rooms across the state of Minnesota. In collaboration with Grand Itasca’s emergency doctors and nursing staff, BHP clinicians work with the patient to understand their immediate and future needs. Their assessments are based on demonstrated best practices in emergency psychiatric care. BHP’s established network of resources means that the patients are either admitted to the nearest inpatient facility with an available bed or set up with appointments and connected to appropriate community providers prior to leaving Grand Itasca’s emergency department.

Since January 7th, Grand Itasca patients have had 55 consults with BHP. The median wait time for the assessment to commence was 26 minutes. The median consult duration was 22 minutes with the longest consult being just over one hour. More than one-third of patients served were ages 10-19. The majority (60%) of patients needing this service presented to Grand Itasca in the evening between the hours of 3pm-11pm. Primary diagnoses range from major depressive disorder to attentive deficit disorder, anxiety disorder and schizophrenia.

The assessments are conducted via telemedicine, meaning the clinician is on a computer screen. “Certainly we were hesitant about our patients’ experience talking to a provider on a screen, but patients have responded really well to it. It actually feels like the clinician is right there in the room with the patient,” says Amy Richling, RN, Emergency Department. “The process is also really quick, meaning patients are getting the care they need in the moment and then are connected to a place that can provide them ongoing specialized care, all in a much shorter timeframe than we were able to before. That is good news for our other emergency patients too, as it means less wait time for everyone.”

Grand Itasca has historically relied on Itasca County’s Crisis Response Team (“CRT”) when patients were experiencing behavioral crises in the emergency department. With a steady increase in the number of patients experiencing these crises, CRT was spending more and more of their resources in the Grand Itasca emergency room. The addition of BHP to Grand Itasca’s emergency room allows CRT to focus on their work in the community, while continuing to support patients at Grand Itasca. CRT was critical in establishing protocols and will continue to be an integral part of caring for Grand Itasca’s patients, in collaboration with BHP.

“We are so happy to be able to bring BHP to our patients in the emergency room, supplementing our longstanding relationship with CRT. With the number of mental health patients, locally and nationally, continuing to rise, we need all hands on deck to provide the best possible care to our community and patients in need,” says Jean MacDonell, President & CEO.



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