“We are very excited to announce that we will start scheduling out-patient appointments for our acute hospital the week of January 26th,” said Angela Nickell, CEO in a memo that went out to staff. “Unit Clerk, Phatima, will be scheduling the appointment while the patient is still in Pomegranate’s acute hospital. Phatima will coordinate the out-patient consent forms with the nurse who discharges the patient from acute. It’s important for the parent to sign the out-patient consent,” explained Nickell.
“Our acute hospital serves to stabilize adolescents who suffer suicidal or homicidal ideation or psychosis. The purpose of the transitional outpatient treatment space is to provide follow-up psychiatric care and medication management for Pomegranate’s acute hospital patients. With the scarcity of available psychiatrists (who are often booked for months on end) it became necessary to offer pharmacological management to maintain continuity of care for our patients,” explained Nickell. “Appointments will be welcomed and the Google calendar maintained by Stephanie, in coordination with the nurse practitioners and psychiatric services team, as scheduled. The NPs will then be scheduling follow-up appointments. The medical software system has been updated to reflect the change.”
The outpatient office is located off the administrative corridor and will be fully equipped. Initially, outpatient appointments will serve Medicaid patients until contracts with private insurers are completed, and in place. Pomegranate is also adding a bed availability e-mail notification system for area referring sources. ‘We’re asking that referring ED personnel provide an e-mail address to be contacted,’ said Nickell. This will allow us to provide optimum service for exceptionally busy emergency departments, counselors, and pediatricians. ‘All our admissions forms –acute and residential- are in the process of being updated and will be uploaded to our new website by February. This is an ongoing continuous quality improvement initiative aimed to streamline our processes and make it easy for all our referring agencies,’ she concluded. “Recent feedback has been quite positive with 93% rating the admissions process good to excellent. We track and benchmark patient, parent, and caseworker feedback via survey which is then translated to appropriate change as needed. Outcome measures matter,” added Kia, LPN, compliance and QI manager. “From actionable data to results: It all makes a difference”.