Newsletter March 4, 2014

Dear Friends of IBHI

We do not routinely darken your mailbox with newsletters, advertisements or notices, but occasionally we cannot resist sharing some of the exciting and encouraging advances we have been able to make in your field.

We also would like to take this opportunity to express thanks for the interest and support of those who have become formal members of IBHI.

Here are some highlights of our latest work:

Reducing hospital readmissions for behavioral health problems 

Any program can be improved and IBHI is pleased to report that in the past year it has helped an already successful one reach even higher success.

We worked with the Behavioral Health Service Line at JPS Health Network’s Trinity Springs Pavilion in Fort Worth, Texas. It did not have a high rate of readmissions but leaders there further reduced it by identifying and implementing new initiatives that  address a variety of problems.

Just a few examples:

They found a number of ways to improve connections to community care for people being discharged. Overall they decreased ED visits and admissions by about 50%.

They significantly improved the ability of consumers to receive prescription refills in a timely manner.

They are demonstrating significant improvements in readmissions rates and Psych ED visits by improving processes, access and adherence for patients requiring long-acting injections.  These increased from only 35% to about 90%.

Reducing readmissions for  non-behavioral health problems among people who also have a behavioral health problem

IBHI has been able to help Michigan Peer Review Organization (MPRO) to help hospitals and other providers in Michigan utilize better screening procedures for underlying behavioral health and substance use problems, and reduce gaps between providers since September 2013.

Among modifications have been

  1. Screening for depression
  2. Screening for drug and alcohol use
  3. Increased collaboration between provider


Researching ways to help people transition from supported housing to independent living 

A discussion chaired by IBHI  among a group of organizations on a potential research project to assess the  possibility of  providing services to help people living in supported housing to move into full independence.

In many cases people with a behavioral health problem who achieve the semi-independence of supported housing are unable to move to complete independence.   As a result other people are b locked from having the opportunity to move into supported housing until more of it is developed.

If a way can be found to design systems to help a significant portion of those in supported housing to become truly self-sufficient, it would be a major benefit to many now awaiting a chance at independence.

If you have thoughts of specific areas in which you’d like to see IBHI working please get in touch.


Improving Emergency Department  service for people with  behavioral health problems 

Kirk Jensen, MD of  Best Practices and an IHI faculty member calls addressing the behavioral health aspects of emergency care of  critical importance. We will again be offering our Seminar on Improving Emergency Department Flow and Care for people with behavioral health problems in Phoenix in December.   This year the seminar has been reshaped and will focus much more on  the specific issues hospitals are struggling to address such as finding better discharge methods and reducing boarding, and less on system wide approaches.  Watch for an announcement about the program.

The IBHI year-long Collaborative on this topic remains one of the few  significant efforts on this subject.  A new opportunity for such work together remains one of IBHI’s objectives.  Anyone interested in the possibility should contact Peter Brown.

Improving the collection and use of outcome data

Following three highly accessed 2013 webinars on  collecting and utilizing data on the outcomes of care, interest has developed in mounting a demonstration project to help providers understand and effectively apply crucial data.  Many providers have expressed concern about potential demands of insurers and care managers for evidence of effectiveness of providers’ services. In many cases providers are awash in data, but have little information of use in improving care.  Our planned pilot project would

a)     focus attention on the most critical information to collect,

b)     help providers learn how to use it and

c)     how to help staff achieve better results.

Improving the connection between consumers and family or other people significant in their lives

IBHI and The Family Institute for Education, Practice & Research at University of Rochester, NY  and are providing a webinar April 8 at noon on a proven, practical technology for helping people who are dealing with behavioral health problems to use the support of family and significant others.  If the webinar is well received  the two organizations will offer a collaborative for interested organizations on using this proven but often overlooked methodology.  Providers usually can achieve much better results by enlisting the trained support of  family and appropriate friends of people suffering with these problems.


Spreading the awareness of the value of improving quality of care

IBHI continues to offer webinars on various topics which can lead to improved outcomes for consumers. Topics under development are:

i.         Integration of Primary Care and Behavioral Health in Primary Care

ii.         Homeless people and their care

iii.        Teen behavioral health needs and attention to suicidality

Although we  have managed to offer our webinars at no charge in the past, with increasing costs consideration has been given to charging a small fee for attendance.   It would be helpful to have your suggestions on topics of particular concern, and on the willingness of listeners to pay modest fees for access.

It is a great time to begin a redevelopment of the entire field.

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