Behavioral Health

Improving Psychiatric Crisis and Emergency Services

Facing higher demand for behavioral health services, central Ohio hospitals are collaborating with other community stakeholders to improve the psychiatric crisis and emergency services system in Franklin County. Working with a variety of community stakeholders, the council and its partners have significantly reduced the length of stay for behavioral health patients in the emergency department despite skyrocketing increases in the number of patients needing inpatient psychiatric care.

Challenges
  • 23% of Franklin County residents have been told they have depression, which is higher than the state rate.
  • The suicide rate in Franklin County is 13.5 per 100,000 population, which is higher than the Healthy People 2030 goal of 12.8.
Initiatives
  • Franklin County Bedboard: COHC partners with local crisis and inpatient psychiatric providers to improve treatment times for patients presenting in the emergency department needing inpatient care.
  • Psychiatric Crisis Task Force: COHC convenes the Franklin County Psychiatric Crisis and Emergency Services Task Force to identify and implement systems and processes to improve psychiatric care. For more information on the PCES Task Force, visit pcestaskforce.org. 
  • COHC co-chairs the Franklin County Mental Health and Addiction Crisis Center Steering Committee. This committee guides the community effort to construct a Crisis Center for individuals in need of crisis care in central Ohio. For more information on the Crisis Center, visit fcmhacc.com.
Progress
  • The average length of stay for behavioral health patients in Franklin County emergency departments has dropped 75% from December 2017 to December 2021.
  • The number of behavioral health patients seeking psychiatric care in emergency departments has decreased from an average of 1,061 in 2018 to an average of 726 in 2021.