News Feature | October 3, 2014

Telemedicine Program Reduces Wait Time For Mental Health Patients In The ER

By Karla Paris

Telemedicine Reduces ER Wait Times For Mental Health

Emergency room patients gain access to mental health experts even when no one is on staff.

Nationwide since 2010, about 5 percent of emergency room visitors sought mental healthcare, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Prior to the use of telemedicine, hospitals without on-site psychiatric services could either contact a provider and wait for a staff member to be able to respond in person or send written evaluations electronically for review and input.

At KentuckyOne Health Inc., a health system with facilities across the state of Kentucky, a new telemedicine program aims to reduce response times for patients seeking mental health care. Under a new telemedicine program being implemented by Louisville-based KentuckyOne Health Inc., patients visiting the emergency department at Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital for mental health care will be linked up with psychiatric professionals from Our Lady of Peace Hospital.

In a news release, the hospital said it will use a secure videoconferencing connection to provide assessments on the level of care needed for visitors of that emergency room who are seeking mental health care. Professionals from Our Lady of Peace will be able to respond to a request for a consultation in about 15 minutes. Patients may be referred for admission at Our Lady of Peace, another outpatient program, or care center.

Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital is a 331-bed primary care hospital offering advanced treatment in orthopedics, cardiology, medical imaging, surgical, and emergency services. Three on-campus medical plazas provide office space for a wide array of physicians representing a number of specialties.

Our Lady of Peace is one of the country’s largest private, non-profit psychiatric hospitals. The facility offers an array of psychiatric treatment services, including specialized programs and services along the full continuum of care. These services include inpatient, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient programming for all ages, including children, adolescents, adults, and seniors.

KentuckyOne Health is the largest health system in Kentucky. The nonprofit system is committed to improving the health of Kentuckians by integrating medical research, education, technology, and health care services wherever patients receive care. KentuckyOne Health has more than 200 locations including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes, and home health agencies across the state of Kentucky and southern Indiana.

SOURCE: KentuckyOne Health