MCHS to offer 24-hour behavioral health services

Published 8:48 am Monday, February 6, 2017

Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea and Austin is now offering behavioral health services to patients in its emergency department via telemedicine. These services include assessment, treatment and placement for outpatient or inpatient behavioral health needs.

“On any given day, a number of patients who have behavioral health needs but are medically stable come to our local emergency department seeking help,” Bo Madsen, medical director of emergency medicine at Mayo Clinic Health System throughout southeast Minnesota said. “Through the use of technology, we can now connect those patients experiencing a behavioral crisis with the right resources when they’re needed.”

Behavioral health services via telemedicine are being offered at Mayo Clinic Health System in both Albert Lea and Austin by Behavioral Healthcare Partners, a Minnesota-based network for more than 5,000 behavioral health provider sites.

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In clinic collaboration with the emergency department physician, BHP provides an on-the-spot videoconference to observe and evaluate the patient for recommended treatment options. They provide an inpatient bed search, further appointment scheduling, clinic documentation and a follow up visit with the patient as needed.

“While this new service certainly benefits our patients in a timely manner, it is only an interim solution to a much bigger situation,” Tom Witt, hospital and emergency medicine physician leader for Mayo Clinic Health System’s hospitals in southeast Minnesota, said. “The increased demand for behavioral health services reflects the general absence of these services statewide. Mayo Clinic is actively working with others on a long-term, multi-faceted response to this complex issue.”