Treatment model focuses on improved outcomes for psychiatric inpatients
Rapid stabilization of symptoms through evidence-based treatment is a key goal for the stabilization treatment model at Community’s behavioral health pavilion.
“We want to bring patients back to a higher level of functioning than when they entered the hospital and engage them in ongoing outpatient care,” says Eric Crouse, Ph.D., vice president for behavioral health services.
The stabilization model involves teaching patients life skills in a group setting to help them better cope with their condition and use interpersonal support systems to live happier, more symptom-free lives. It is an evidence-based best practice that is used in some of the best inpatient psychiatric hospitals across the country.
“Research indicates that teaching life skills in a group setting decreases the likelihood for relapse,” says Gigi Acevedo-Patterson, R.N., M.S.N., executive director of the Behavioral Health Pavilion. “Additionally, educating family members or significant others helps them to play a key role in the patient’s treatment—so they know to access the appropriate care when needed.”
The program puts the patient at the center of the treatment and is tailored based on his or her individual needs. Group sessions offer a range of topics, including preserving normalcy, decreasing the impact of crisis, problem solving, anger management, communication/assertiveness and managing relationships. Patients and family members also receive guidance about how medications help treat a condition, and how to work with a psychiatrist on an ongoing basis to make best use of a medication.
“Patients need to understand the notion that they will need to stay in some form of therapy,” notes Crouse. “It is highly unlikely that everything will be perfect when they leave the hospital.”
As part of the stabilization model, offerings at all levels of Community’s behavioral health services have been enhanced to increase the likelihood that patients will follow through with ongoing care. This includes improved interdisciplinary work and communication between psychiatric nurses, social workers and psychiatrists. “We have brought the structure of our program to a higher level,” says Crouse,” in terms of the impact we can make on people who need our assistance.”