JSA Health Telepsychiatry is pleased to announce that our emergency telepsychiatrists will be supporting the Seton Psychiatric Emergency Department (SPED) at Seton Brackenridge Hospital in Austin, Texas. JSA telepsychiatrists will continue to assist mental health patients throughout the Seton Family of Hospitals system currently at seven locations in central Texas. JSA will be augmenting the services of on-site psychiatrists at SPED and participating via telemedicine as a full fledged member of SPED multidisciplinary treatment team of nurses and social workers.
More information from KVUE News in Austin, Texas:
JIM BERGAMO / KVUE News and photojournalist Erin Coker and editor Rob Diaz
New psychiatric ER set to open
“It’s pretty early in my shift today, but so far I’ve seen five patients, and three have been psychiatric illness,” said Christopher Ziebell, M.D., the Emergency Department Medical Director at UMCB.
Ziebell is not a psychiatrist. He says often it can take a day or two to get behavioral health patients aligned with the proper physicians, and that can cause a serious backup in the waiting room.
“Because instead of turning the bed over every 60-90 minutes, I’ve got someone who is occupying that bed for 36-48 hours,” he said.
“When those patients are taking up a bed, that’s a bed that’s not available to someone in the community who’s having a heart attack or appendicitis or stroke or whatever,” said Ziebell.
It’s why Seton established a Psychiatric Emergency Department on site — with seven rooms for “treat and release” patients and 10 for acute patients held involuntarily or needing transfer to a higher level of care.
“We’re going to have 24/7 expertise across a lot of disciplines that will help people who are experiencing any kind of behavioral health crisis,” said Kari Wolf, M.D., the VP of Medical Affairs for Psychiatry at Seton Family. “That doesn’t exist anywhere in this community right now.”
All the rooms here at the Seton Psychiatric Emergency Department are designed with the patient’s safety in mind. Even things as simple as plastic bed frames with rounded corners. Besides the 24/7 care, perhaps the biggest benefit to patients will be the calm environment.
“If someone is experiencing a behavioral health crisis, the last thing they want to do is be in a noisy, busy, crowded emergency department where there’s all sorts of chaos going on,” said Wolf.
The new Seton Psychiatric Emergency Department will only serve adults — so anyone 17 and under will have to be taken to another facility.
Click here for more information on the facility.