• Innovation in Action

Apr 4, 2023

Oklahoma Rural Hospital Makes Changes to Improve Care and Outcomes for Psychiatric Patients

Carnegie logo for website

Following an analysis showing that quality indicators were not being met, Carnegie Tri-County Municipal Hospital (CTCMH) implemented changes to improve care and outcomes for psychiatric patients in its rural Oklahoma coverage area.

The hospital improved processes for evaluating, stabilizing and, if needed, transferring psychiatric patients while providing a safe environment for the patient, staff and visitors. Interventions included training staff on psychiatric protocols, implementing and educating providers on an electronic psychiatric order set, updating procedures for identifying individuals at risk and developing a plan of care for psychiatric patients.

With limited resources, CTCMH staff also collaborated with their leadership from the Cohesive Healthcare Management & Consulting team and worked with community organizations to create consistent guidelines and procedures.

“Mental health is a major concern today everywhere in the world but, in rural communities, we do not have access to behavioral health services at our front door like big cities do,” said Shannon Ware, Quality/Risk/Compliance Manager at CTCMH. “We have now developed a process that not only will help identify behavioral health patients but will provide the patient and families the opportunity to use behavioral health services, learn more about solutions/resources for their family members, and most importantly, create change to save their loved one’s life.”

Implementing new processes created positive results, with data showing a 94% completion rate for the designated suicide risk screening, a 59% completion rate for the designated patient safety checklist and a 65% completion rate for the designated psychiatric nursing flowsheet. As a result of these changes, CTCMH is now meeting all of their quality benchmark goals.

The primary goal of developing the quality data was to help identify and implement previously unknown services that could be available to their hospital from local agencies or partners that would help improve the overall psychiatric patient process.

CTCMH is one of five critical access hospitals managed by the Cohesive Healthcare Management & Consulting Team, and through their initiative became the first Cohesive Healthcare hospital to partner with and implement the Red Rock Behavioral Health Services for Psychiatric Patients. Because of the improvements that were made, three other critical access hospitals managed by Cohesive Healthcare have now implemented the same services for their patients.

“Our process for behavioral health patients has let the community know that they are not alone, and we are there to help in their time of need,” Shannon said.

Carnegie Tri-County Municipal Hospital is a 2022 Health Quality Innovator of Year runner up in the Rural Health Category. Click HERE to learn more about their success implementing changes to improve care and outcomes for psychiatric patients in their coverage area.