There is a major change in behavioral health expectations. The Joint Commission has taken aim at Hospital ED Boarding and the changes will affect both Community providers and hospitals.
The Joint Commission will now expect hospitals to have strong relations with community providers to eliminate the current practice of holding behavioral health patients in Emergency Departments for extended periods. These revised standards will take effect in 2013 and 2014. Surveyors will begin expecting to see hospital efforts to meet the standards as of January 2014. Hospitals and their community partners need to begin addressing the issue now to be able to fulfill the requirement. Here is the link to the Commission web site posting:
The American College of Emergency Physicians reported of the 328 ED Directors they had surveyed, 79% reported “boarding ” psychiatric patients. Further, they reported at least a third were boarded for over eight hours. This is an unacceptable result, and new accreditation requirements are designed to address the problem. In addition the Commission will be looking to determine whether hospitals are working consistently on improving flow through the Emergency Department. Hospitals will need to develop closer and more reliable relations with community providers to help eliminate the problem.
IBHI is offering a full day seminar on Improving Emergency Department Flow for People with Behavioral Health Problems on Dec 5th in Las Vegas. It will include Lynne Bergero of the Joint Commission to address the new accreditation requirements. This program will immediately precede the National Update on Behavioral Health Emergencies at the same location.
Register now for the Dec 5 seminar on Improving ED Flow, Reducing Boarding and meeting the Joint Commission Standards.