By Jill Collet MPH, Director, Performance and Operational Excellence
As a benefit of membership, The Health Collaborative (THC) regularly convenes action and affinity groups to tackle specific challenges within health and healthcare.
One such group, the Behavioral Health Action Group, convenes local psychiatric hospitals and community behavioral health providers to discuss ways of improving care for patients/clients with behavioral health needs. The group regularly meets to respond to all emerging needs such as continuity of care, advocacy, and workforce development.
An area of need identified by the group is improved ease of access for communication between local hospitals and community agencies. THC has led an effort to engage local behavioral health providers in identifying points of contact for admissions and new referrals, discharge planning, and follow-up for these patients (as well as a back-up contact if initial contact efforts fail). These points of contact are now being listed in a directory on the THC website. The directory is being listed on a hidden webpage so providers can feel comfortable listing contact information beyond public-facing contacts to facilitate increasingly real-time and direct communication.
The directory has been developed as a member resource for behavioral health providers (hospitals, outpatient, and everything in-between) to have a one-stop shop for finding direct contacts when they need to communicate across agencies for patient care. It highlights site-level contacts for admissions and new referrals, discharge planning, follow-up, and a back-up contact as a fail-safe.
The contact information for 17 hospitals – all local psychiatric hospitals plus a few additional across the state – as well as nine community providers has been collected and additional sites may be added on a rolling basis.
The THC team has provided the data and framework to offer the directory on its website. Ericson Imarenezor from the population health team has led the technical efforts of data management and working with the marketing team and website vendor on website design. Marty Williams from the professional services team has led the provider-facing efforts with data collection and project management. This internal collaboration has resulted in a tool hospital providers and community providers alike will benefit from in managing patient care transitions.