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Psychiatric emergency room: the Banner Health model

When people with psychiatric or substance abuse problems come into the emergency department of an acute care general hospital, they present management challenges that go beyond their immediate clinical needs and can affect ED throughput.   These patients may require increased staff observation and more time involved in appropriate inpatient placement.  Banner Health, a multi-institutional health system based in Phoenix, is the largest provider of inpatient behavioral services in the state of Arizona.  Within the past few years, Banner Health studied the emergency care provided to behavioral health patients and revamped the care delivery system.  The average ED “hold time” for behavioral health patients was found to be 14-16 hours compared to 3-5 hours for nonbehavioral health patients in 2009 — before the new care model was put into place.  The system worked with Connections Arizona to create the Banner Psychiatric Center, which was opened in Scottsdale in 2010, a psychiatric emergency room with 23-hour observation capacity.  This article is a description of the development of the new care model.

Source: Little-Upah, P., and others.  The Banner Psychiatric Center: a model for providing psychiatric crisis care to the community while easing behavioral health holds in emergency departments.  The Permanente Journal;17(1):45-49, Winter 2013.  Click here for full text:  http://www.thepermanentejournal.org/issues/2013/winter/5079-psychiatric-crisis-care.html  Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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