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Session Details

​​​​​​​​​November 14, 2019, 2:00 PM ET: The Benefits of Behavioral Health in the ED

  • Arpan Waghray, MD, System Director, Behavioral Medicine, System Medical Director, Telepsychiatry, Providence St. Joseph Health; Chief Medical Officer, Well Being Trust


    Scott Zeller, MD, Vice President of Acute Psychiatry, Vituity


    Scott M. Surico, BSN, RN, MICN, Education Coordinator for Emergency Services, Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian 


    Marie Schall, MA, Senior Director, Institute for Healthcare Improvement

What can emergency departments (EDs) do to improve the way they care for patients with behavioral health issues?  For instance, while ED staff try their best to thoroughly evaluate and monitor individuals in crisis related to mental illness or substance use disorder, the needs can quickly outstrip available resources, especially in busy EDs that see a lot of medical and psychiatric emergencies.

Indeed, when it comes to behavioral health, most ED staff view their role as limited to stabilizing patients before inpatient or outpatient psychiatric services take over. Since that handoff rarely happens smoothly or quickly, patients are often boarded in hallways, receiving little to no treatment at all. Yet, even as the hours tick by, individuals with behavioral health issues often feel safest turning to emergency departments for help — it's a hard pattern to break without known alternatives.

Behavioral health and ED experts have solutions to these problems​, but say they're only possible when staff are equipped to move beyond a traditionally reactive role to behavioral health in general. What does that entail? Learn more on the November 14 WIHI: The Benefits of Behavioral Health in the ED.   

The WIHI panel will draw on the experiences of eight hospital systems testing improvements as part of an 18-month IHI initiative, Integrating Behavioral Health in the Emergency Department and Upstream, supported by the Well Being Trust​. We'll discuss the importance of changing ED culture and negative attitudes about people with mental illness and addiction; how practicing trauma-informed care can be a game changer for staff and patients alike; the importance of leadership commitment to behavioral health as part of population health; and the necessity to build awareness of and partnerships with community resources.  ​

As you'll hear on the November 14 WIHI, upfront, proactive changes can move emergency departments in some new and exciting directions in behavioral health, building bridges and lessening burdens on everyone. We hope you'll join us. 

Please click here to create a calendar invite for the 2:00 PM ET broad​cast.​​ ​​​​​​