ER Program To Help Homeless In Mental Health Crises Helps Them Get More Specialized Care
St. Joseph Hospital's Emergency Clinical Decision Unit also frees up the emergency department to triage other patients.
Orange County Register:
ER Program For Homeless Patients In Mental Distress Offers Special Care, A Chance At Housing
St. Joseph opened the ECDU in May 2015, addressing a pressing need to better accommodate patients experiencing the twin crises of acute mental distress and homelessness. The hospital has set aside Room 53 in the emergency room for their immediate triage before moving them as soon as possible to a calmer atmosphere one floor up. The ECDU, initiated by the hospital’s head of emergency nursing and behavioral health services, Glenn Raup, has helped free up space in the emergency room while providing specialized treatment for a troublesome population, sometimes referred to as “frequent fliers” for their multiple and costly visits to emergency rooms. It has cut their average wait for care in half, from 24 to 12 hours. (Walker, 8/22)