2017 Gala Beneficiary:
EvergreenHealth’s Transitional Care Unit for Behavioral Health
The charitable focus of the 2017 Evergreen Gala is EvergreenHealth’s Transitional Care Unit. EvergreenHealth’s vision is to be the most trusted source for health care solutions and we are dedicated to adapting to the growing and changing health care needs of our community. One such emerging and urgent need is specialized clinical care for those with behavioral health concerns.
Nationally, nearly 25% of all adult hospital stays involve depression, bipolar, schizophrenia and other mental health disorders or substance use-related disorders. Unfortunately, behavioral health needs are outpacing available resources in our communities, often leaving hospitals in the difficult situation of caring for patients with behavioral health needs, while outpatient and/or long-term inpatient treatment options are secured, without the appropriate care settings.
At EvergreenHealth, we too are caring for ever-increasing numbers of patients with behavioral health needs. These patients include those with strictly behavioral health concerns and those who have behavioral health concerns and need medical care as well. Behavioral health patients present distinct challenges from both a safety and security perspective, but also a care management perspective. While our hospital is the appropriate care setting to treat these patients’ medical or surgical conditions, without a dedicated unit and specially trained staff, we offer a less than ideal setting for managing ongoing behavioral health conditions.
Without the necessary resources available in the community, and in order to provide the highest level of care possible to these patients, a specialized unit will be created. Our vision is to establish a 14-bed Transitional Care Unit on the second floor of our medical center’s Purple zone. This unit, while not planned to be a dedicated behavioral health unit (as EvergreenHealth is not a licensed behavioral health facility), will be designed to serve the unique needs of patients who have behavioral health issues and are receiving care at EvergreenHealth. The unit will ensure that their unique needs are met as they are transitioning to their final care setting for the management of their behavioral health condition.
The safety and security of these patients and our staff call for a special care setting, designed to meet their needs. Therefore, the Transitional Care Unit will be a secured unit with direct video observation technology installed in each patient room. The physical environment will be renovated to cultivate a calming setting, and staff will receive extensive training and education on the special needs of this patient population.
In addition to ensuring every life we touch receives the best clinical outcomes, absolute safety and exceptional service, a dedicated transition unit will open capacity on our medical and surgical nursing units, which will help us meet the growing need in our community for medical/surgical care. The combined benefits will help us provide an appropriate care team and setting for all patients, improve the delivery of care throughout the system, and streamline the regulatory oversight and care coordination of a special patient population – while improving the safety and experience for our patients and staff alike.