Reducing Emergency Behavioral Health Patient Boarding

With our extensive years of experience, we have what it takes to help you reduce psychiatric patient boarding in your hospital’s emergency department. We can help you ensure the care and safety of patients with substance abuse and mental health problems.

Reducing Emergency Behavioral Health Patient Boarding

With our extensive years of experience, we have what it takes to help you reduce psychiatric patient boarding in your hospital’s emergency department. We can help you ensure the care and safety of patients with substance abuse and mental health problems.

Employing an Active Approach to Reducing Patient Boarding

We employ a hands-on and active approach to reducing psychiatric boarding in the emergency department. Our in-depth knowledge of hospital operations enables us to be sensitive to the needs of our clients.

Additionally, we are capable of turning analysis into functional change that can be implemented quickly and seamlessly. Our innovative solutions to psychiatric boarding are impacted by the following:

  • Emergency department capacity management procedures and technology for mental health patients
  • Dwell time reduction program for mental health and substance abuse patients
  • Analysis of community and regional needs and system planning to reduce psychiatric patient emergency department utilization and recidivism
  • Community resource mobilization/regional approach to improving care coordination for mental health and substance patients with high rates of emergency department utilization

Challenges to Reducing Psychiatric Dwell Time

Our team of consultants understands that a variety of issues contribute to the longer emergency department boarding times for psychiatric patients. These issues include but are not limited to the following:

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  • Insufficient access to psychiatric inpatient beds and/or drug and alcohol treatment facilities
  • High recidivism rate for patients with complex behavioral, physical/medical, and social needs
  • Inadequate psychiatric staff coverage especially during peak times
  • Physical space limitations, especially for reliable patient and staff safety
  • Inadequately planned, utilized, and coordinated community resources
  • Adequate and consistently applied standards of care and safety protocols
  • Access to nonemergency levels of care (e.g. partial hospital, observation bed, intensive outpatient)

Our Process of Reducing Psychiatric Dwell Times

To improve throughput and treatment quality for behavioral health patients in the emergency room, we conduct a thorough on-site evaluation that may last from three to five days. We customize our evaluation to address the specific needs and challenges of your emergency department. The most common measures we take during the on-site evaluation include:

  • Initial Assessment to identify current barriers, existing opportunities, and workflow efficiencies
    Interviews With:
  • Hospital Leadership Executives
  • Nurses
  • Emergency Room Physicians and Managers
  • Staff and Community Psychiatrists
  • Community Mental Health/Substance Abuse Center Representatives
  • Mental Health Advocates
  • Other Stakeholders
  • Gap analysis to best practices and national benchmarks
  • Collaborative development of an action plan

Our Deliverables

After the evaluation period, our team develops and implements a unique set of deliverables designed to improve the throughput and treatment quality of behavioral health patients in your emergency department. We carefully consider the community needs, patient population, and hospital’s resources in creating a customized solution for your program, which gives you access to:

  • Opportunities and Procedures to Reduce Psychiatric Boarding
  • Improved Care and Safety Protocols for Patients With Mental Health and Substance Abuse Issues in the Emergency Department
  • Community Resource Utilization and Development Plans (e.g. Care Coordination, Aftercare Planning, etc.)
  • Written Action Plan With Implementation Steps and Timeline
  • Action Plan Implementation
  • Impact Monitoring Using Customized, Unique Measures
  • Coaching of Administrators on the Use of the Monitoring Measures
Hospital Staff

Emergency Department Benefits

By developing products that are unique to each facility, our team can address the needs of various emergency rooms. Following the implementation of our action plan, your emergency department will see the following benefits:

  • Improved Care for Psychiatric Patients
  • Reduced Emergency Department Psychiatric Patient Boarding and Dwell Time
  • Increased Patient and Staff Safety
  • Compliance With State Regulations and Accreditation Standards
  • Increased Access to Inpatient Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities and Beds
  • Planned and Coordinated Use of Community Resources
  • Improved Patient Satisfaction
  • Better Emergency Department and Hospital Capacity Management

Reach Out to Us

Since our inception in 1993, Schafer Consulting has been committed to developing tools that can significantly improve emergency room services. We aim to boost your department’s efficiency when treating patients with mental health or substance abuse issues.

Our success with projects focused on emergency rooms comes from connecting operations to real-world business requirements. Additionally, we strive to provide our clients with unique tools to measure and track their department’s performance. We look forward to speaking with you about your specific emergency department needs. Talk to us by giving us a call at (724) 213-0200.

Our Recent Emergency Department Consulting Projects

  • Developed a program model that increased throughput for a large safety net hospital psychiatric emergency department
  • Completed regional multi-stakeholder “Community Behavioral Health Delivery System Assessment”
  • Reduced reliance on a rural hospital emergency department by psychiatric patients by realigning and integrating community partner agencies