Working Together To Improve Mental Health Care In A Crisis
People experiencing a mental health or substance abuse crisis often end up in an Emergency Department (ED). There, they are typically stabilized and either hospitalized for further treatment, or released with referrals for follow-up care. These issues prompted an innovative collaboration between Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare and Baptist Medical Center Nassau. Working together, the two healthcare providers created the Care Coordination program, which identifies individuals who need additional care when they come to the Baptist Medical Center Nassau Emergency Department (ED.) With a mental health counselor from Starting Point working in the ED, patients with serious mental health or substance use disorders can be quickly assessed and referred to a coordinated program of care that addresses their physical and mental health needs.
The goals of the program include not only improved care and outcomes for the clients, but also a reduction in the number of return visits to the ED. When the individual is part of an ongoing system of care, fewer return visits to the ED are needed.
The Care Coordination program doesn't just help people in the ED. Care Coordinators also help people at the jail, Gateway, MHRC, Wekiva, River Point and other crisis units.
In the last fiscal year, 692 people were referred from Baptist Medical Center Nassau, Gateway and other crisis units. Of those, 353 participated in an extended Care Coordination program. Out of these 692 people, 630 individuals did NOT have a repeat visit to one of these facilities within 30 days after discharge, reducing recidivism rates greatly. Since this program was implemented, recidivism (meaning return visits) has been reduced in the ED alone from more than 20% to less than 9%.