On April 8th, 2021, Vituity’s Emergency Psychiatry Team received the Innovation in Acute Care Suicide Prevention Award by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) for their work on Emergency Psychiatric Intervention (EPI), a proprietary care tool.
“When we began our bold goal to reduce the national suicide rate 20% by 2025, we envisioned creative new solutions like this new tool developed by the team at Vituity. This team has found a way to better meet the behavioral health needs of patients,” said CEO Robert Gebbia of AFSP. “And, what makes the tool special is how simple it is to implement, and the potential time and cost savings for care and treatment.”
Vituity, a physician-led and -owned organization, has been working on the front lines of acute care delivery for nearly 50 years and understands the unique challenges of the emergency department (ED).
Emergency Psychiatric Intervention (EPI) is an approach and toolkit designed by Vituity physicians on the front lines of emergency medicine and acute psychiatry. EPI ensures that EDs are empowered to properly and more efficiently evaluate and treat behavioral health patients from the moment they enter the ED through discharge.
At its core, the EPI approach includes expertise and proven results in three areas:
These three principles are already embedded in the standard processes that serve patients with medical complaints in the ED. However, they have not been successfully applied to the behavioral health population. Through the elimination of unnecessary roadblocks to expedite treatment, patients receive earlier assessments and differentiated care based on diagnosed need. Also, EPI creates core efficiencies to assess, evaluate, and treat behavioral health patients, reducing redundancies and freeing up time to care for more patients. All of this is achieved through a comprehensive education program and toolkit on behavioral healthcare best practices that minimize patient holding and improve care quality and patient experience.
CommonSpirit Health is the largest Catholic health system and second-largest nonprofit hospital system in the U.S., operating 137 hospitals in 21 states. Like health systems across the country, CommonSpirit was experiencing a rapid increase in the number of behavioral health patients presenting to its ED. Perhaps its greatest challenge was lack of clinician training around mental health and substance abuse emergencies.
Senior Vice President for Behavioral Health Paul Rains, MSN, collaborated with Vituity to identify nine exemplar CommonSpirit EDs in Nevada and California that could not only succeed with EPI but also help to scale it across the organization. This resulted in numerous improvements across the nine participating hospitals within six months:
The impact of effectively and compassionately serving all ED patients, including those with behavioral health conditions, is profound.
To learn more about how to incorporate EPI at your practice location or health system, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published April 8, 2021