There are different types of behavioral healthcare facilities. Some are stand-alone facilities while others are part of a larger healthcare system. Many larger healthcare systems include a department or behavioral health unit as part of their comprehensive set of services. In these large healthcare systems, there is integration and sharing of services at all levels.
Describe the similarities and differences between staffing for a stand-alone behavioral healthcare facility and a behavioral healthcare unit that is a part of a larger healthcare system. What are the reasons for these differences? Does behavioral healthcare have unique staffing needs or is it similar to the staffing needs of a hospital in general? Why or why not?
Provide specific examples of both types of healthcare facilities. You may also refer to information shared on the Internet. Which healthcare system among these two would you prefer more and why? Justify your answers with appropriate research and reasoning.
Referral Process in Behavioral Healthcare Services
Behavioral healthcare, like most healthcare services, has seen a change in focus from a didactic relationship between the physician and the patient to that of a group effort involving an interdisciplinary team of professionals as well as active participation by the consumer.
The team concept stems from several factors but mainly from the comorbidity of diseases and conditions. In most instances, the consumer is not just faced with mental illness but psychosocial issues such as family and work challenges, as well as other medical issues such as addictions and overall poor health. This is when a team operating in a disease management capacity is the best course of action, especially for individuals with persistent mental illness and comorbidity.
How does a primary care physician integrate the need for further behavioral health services such as referring to a psychiatrist or psychologist for therapy or counseling?
Search the Internet to look for a hospital system providing behavioral healthcare services. Review the information shared on the hospital’s Web site regarding the functioning of the department providing behavioral healthcare services. Explain the referral process and the protocol followed in hospitals when a patient requires behavioral healthcare services. Justify your answers with appropriate research and reasoning.
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