Tech improves response for mental health issues
Hometown News: Deland-Lake Helen, Deleon Springs, Pierson - 3/23/2018
To provide an extra layer of care in the emergency department, psychiatrists at Florida Hospital DeLand can now do rounds remotely to expedite care and treat patients in crisis more quickly.
Psychiatrists will continue to physically do rounds in the hospital's emergency department daily, but because mental health conditions and chemical dependency can cause unpredictable symptoms, the new technology enables physicians to assess patients remotely, regardless of the time of day.
The hospital has about 500 admissions per year in its voluntary Behavioral Health unit, composed of four licensed beds for substance abuse and six licensed beds for mental health patients.
The DeLand hospital's Behavioral Health Services team cares for patients 18 years of age or older, experiencing a serious mental health condition or chemical dependency.
Led by psychiatrist Dr. Luis Allen, the hospital's medical director of Behavioral Health Services, the team of psychiatrists, behavioral health workers, therapists and psychiatric nurses work to stabilize patients in crisis, treating psychiatric symptoms and providing safe detox from chemical dependency. The hospital team can address any substance abuse or mental health concern, including anxiety, depression and schizophrenia.
"Behavioral health continues to be a critical concern for the community," Dr. Allen said in a news release. "With the availability of tele-mental health services, properly designed, we are leaping into the future to address today's challenges, ensuring services are on hand when needed by removing time and space constraints. This technology increases the accessibility of the physician to the community and patients under a Baker Act."