Mental Health Telemedicine Collaboration Now Connects Saint Joseph London Hospital Patients with Our Lady Of Peace Professionals
London, Ky. (September 24, 2014) — Individuals in crisis can now get the help they need more quickly thanks to a mental health telemedicine collaboration between Our Lady of Peace and Saint Joseph London, both part of KentuckyOne Health.
The collaboration connects mental health professionals from Our Lady of Peace with the emergency department at Saint Joseph London to provide a “level of care” assessment for patients who come to the hospital’s emergency room with mental health or psychiatric conditions. This assessment helps determine the level and type of care needed for these patients. Using a secure videoconference system, professionals from Our Lady of Peace are able to respond to requests for a consultation in about 15 minutes.
Our Lady of Peace professionals consult with the emergency room physician and make recommendations for immediate care. Patients may be referred for admission at Our Lady of Peace or to another outpatient program or care center.
“The concept behind telemedicine is for patients to have access to assessors, therapists and other mental health professionals at a location close to home,” said Jennifer Nolan, president of Our Lady of Peace. “We may be based in Louisville, but we can provide care throughout the Commonwealth. When you have a friend or family member in crisis, you need help as quickly as possible. Telemedicine allows us to provide that access to our experts quickly in order to assess the patient and provide guidance to the emergency room staff.”
According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in the U.S., more than 6.4 million visits to emergency rooms in 2010, or about five percent of total visits, involved patients whose primary diagnosis was a mental health condition or substance abuse.
Using telemedicine, Our Lady of Peace professionals can see and interact with the patient to provide recommendations for immediate treatment and further care to the emergency room staff. They can also connect with the patient’s family to provide reassurance, answer questions and offer explanations.
“When someone you love is in crisis, direct interaction with a mental heath professional can be very calming and reassuring,” said Michael Dawson, a licensed clinical social worker and assessment and referral director at Our Lady of Peace. “Telemedicine allows us to help provide that support to families and patients more quickly.”
The telemedicine collaboration between Our Lady of Peace and Saint Joseph London has reduced the response time for these patients to receive care significantly. Providers from Our lady of Peace can respond in 15 minutes or less in many cases, getting help to these patients and their families much more quickly.
“This collaboration with Our Lady of peace allows us to leverage the expertise within KentuckyOne Health to provide much needed and coordinated care for our patients in need,” said Tariq Mirza, MD, Medical Director of Saint Joseph London’s Emergency Department.
Our Lady of Peace is also using telemedicine to collaborate with Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital in Louisville and hopes to expand the service to additional KentuckyOne Health facilities later this year.
“We are pioneering this collaboration at two facilities in hopes that we can extend access to mental health care throughout the Commonwealth, particularly in areas where limited or no psychiatric services are available,” said Nolan. “It is the mission of KentuckyOne Health to provide wellness, healing and hope to all, including the underserved. Improving access to mental health services is paramount to that mission. Telemedicine extends services and improves efficiency at the same time.”
Our Lady of Peace offers the most comprehensive array of psychiatric treatment services in Kentucky, including specialized programs and services along the full continuum of care, including inpatient, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programming for all ages, including children, adolescents, adults and seniors.
About KentuckyOne Health
KentuckyOne Health was formed when two major Kentucky health care organizations came together in early 2012. KentuckyOne Health combines the Jewish and Catholic heritages of the two former systems – Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System. In late 2012, the organization formed a partnership with the University of Louisville Hospital | James Graham Brown Cancer Center. The nonprofit system is committed to improving the health of Kentuckians by integrating medical research, education, technology and health care services wherever patients receive care. KentuckyOne Health has more than 200 locations including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies across the state of Kentucky and southern Indiana.