NABH member Prime Healthcare is one of the nation’s leading health systems with 46 hospitals in 14 states. The system serves more than 600 communities, employs 35,000 staff, and provides 2.6 million patient visits annually.
Prime is nationally recognized for award-winning quality care and has been named a Top 10 and Top 15 Health System by IBM Watson Health. Its hospitals have also been named among the nation’s best as ”100 Top hospitals” 53 times and have received more Patient Safety Excellence Awards from Healthgrades than any other health system in the past five years.
Recently the system shared some effective best practices it has implemented during the Covid- 19 pandemic. These include:
- Mental Health Crisis Line: This in-house confidential line was developed post-pandemic to support all Prime employees. It was staffed with licensed clinicians and psychiatrists. The purpose was to provide emotional support, talk therapy and medication management (if, needed). Accessible to all employees at no charge, the practice benefited our organization.
- Mental Health Peer Support Groups: In addition to the crisis line, the support groups were offered once a week to all Prime employees. These open forum groups discussed several topics from shared experiences, family stressors, children, anxiety, depression, helplessness and many more related to COVID-19. While most groups are common, these were specific, and our employees benefited learning from each-other.
- Mental Health App: Accessibility has always been a challenge for behavioral health resources and services across the nation. Prime re-assured these resources were readily available, by creating “In-Prime Health”. This app had several mental health resources available such as mindfulness videos, self-care tips, daily motivational quotes, podcasts and direct call-in to the crisis line. This is a very first app to be launched in Prime Healthcare.
- Patient Groups: Due to the pandemic and social-distancing measures, patient groups on our inpatient behavioral health units became a concern. We wanted to ensure continued treatment was offered for the patients during these challenging times. The BH team developed cohorts and smaller groups of patients on the inpatient units. Patients were provided education and encouraged to participate in this project. The teams across all facilities successfully launched these groups, continued daily treatment with appropriate social distance and safety for all patients.
Expanded Behavioral Healthcare Services
Prime’s other focus in 2020 has been to expand behavioral health services in the areas of most need. In California, where the state lost 37 psychiatric care facilities since 1995, Prime is adding more beds and, in some cases, dedicating entire facilities to psychiatric care.
In late 2019, Prime converted an existing acute care hospital in eastern Los Angeles County to the Glendora Oaks Behavioral Health Hospital. By the time phase one of the expansion plan is completed this fall, the facility will more than double its capacity with nearly 50 inpatient beds able to serve 1,700 patients annually. Plans are in place to add more over time and expand into other specialized areas such as adolescent behavioral health. The facility will feature state-of-the-art inpatient services utilizing the newest technology to keep patients comfortable while administering treatment during their stay.
In Southern Los Angeles County, the recent acquisition of St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, the newest member of the Prime Healthcare family, saw the company’s behavioral health team immediately begin an assessment of community needs. This led to the immediate application and conversion of 26 med-surg beds for behavioral health patients, complimenting the existing 40 beds already in place. The team’s rapid work through the regulatory process showcases Prime’s commitment to providing adequate services to the large and growing communities its hospitals serve. The need for these services are particularly acute in Los Angeles County, where there are only 22.7 behavioral health beds per 100,000 residents, compared with the national target of 50 beds per 100,000.
And on the East Coast in Boonton, N.J., Saint Clare’s Behavioral Health operates 51-bed inpatient center and one of the largest outpatient treatment programs in Morris and Sussex counties, providing a comprehensive range of emergency, inpatient, outpatient, and community-based services. Programs incorporate a blend of proven therapeutic methods – including medication, education, counseling, and support – designed to help individuals overcome challenges related to stress, mood, psychiatric, and addiction disorders.
Please visit Prime Healthcare to learn more.