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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

  • 22% of Franklin County residents have been told they have depression, which is higher than the state rate.
  • The suicide rate in Franklin County is 12.3 per 100,000 population, which is higher than the Healthy People 2020 goal of 10.2.
  • Behavioral health patients in Franklin County emergency departments stay an average of 12.87 hours — five times higher than Ohio’s average length of stay.

Initiatives

  • Franklin County Bedboard: Partnering 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: Convening the Franklin County Psychiatric Crisis and Emergency Services Task Force to collaborate with community stakeholders in identifying and implementing systems and processes to improve psychiatric care.

Progress

  • The number of behavioral health patients seeking psychiatric care in emergency departments has gone from a high of 1,447 to 816 In less than a year.
  • The length of stay for behavioral health patients in the emergency department has dropped from a high of 74.3 hours to 29.7 hours.