New program at East Valley Banner hospitals links patients with psychiatrists via video
SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. (Dec. 12, 2011) – Three East Valley Banner Health hospitals are testing a new program that allows patients with behavioral health issues in hospital Emergency departments to “see” a psychiatrist via a secured video link.
“While most hospitals don’t have psychiatric services available around the clock in their Emergency department, this program offers patients in psychiatric crisis the opportunity to receive almost immediate treatment,” said Suzanne Gotell, nursing manager of Banner Ironwood’s Emergency department.
Using Telepsych, an Emergency physician can request a consult from a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner at the Banner Psychiatric Center, a 24/7 behavioral health center in Scottsdale, Ariz. When the secure video link is established, the psychiatrist works with the physician to assess the patient and can create a course of action for proper patient care.
This psychiatric consultation eliminates time previously used to transfer patients for treatment as well as the cost of ambulance transport.
Telepsych is the latest innovation in Banner Health's emerging tele-health strategy. Banner's iCare program, includes an electronic intensive care unit (eICU) that uses specially-trained physicians and nurses to back up the bedside ICU team and monitor ICU patient information 24/7. The remote team responds to requests for help from the bedside care team, monitors for adverse trends and interrupts before adverse trends become adverse outcomes and monitors and supports "Best Practice” compliance. The iCare program currently has the ability to monitor over 430 ICU beds in three states (Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska) and will be adding two more (Nevada, Wyoming) in 2012.
Banner Health is also breaking new ground with a remote monitoring system for our medical/surgical patients who require less intensive care.
“As with our iCare program that connects expert physicians and nurses to our hospitalized patients in our ICUs and selected telemetry and medical-surgical units, the extension of our ‘remote presence’ that connects these specialists to patients in the ED is yet another innovative way we can serve our Banner patients and their families,” said Julie Reisetter, RN, MS, chief nursing officer, Banner Health iCare.
Telepsych is scheduled to be installed in all Banner Health Emergency departments in Arizona by the end of 2012. The Telepsych program is currently being evaluated by the Banner Psychiatric Center, a 24/7 behavioral health center located at Banner Behavioral Health Hospital in Scottsdale, Ariz., and the Emergency department at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center in Glendale, Ariz., where the program was piloted.