A new partnership will increase the number of inpatient psychiatric beds and reshape behavioral crisis services here in Tulsa County.
Family & Children's Services has partnered with Hillcrest Medical Center and the Tulsa Center for Behavioral Health to help expand the continuum of services available locally. The improvements are part of an effort by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Services to enhance crisis services statewide.
According to a press release, under the terms of the ODMHSAS contract, F&CS will manage a new-concept, outpatient crisis stabilization unit and HMC will open 16 new adult inpatient psychiatric beds.
TCBH, which is operated by ODMHSAS, only has the capacity to provide inpatient behavioral health care to 56 patients.
Gail Lapidus chief executive officer at F&CS, said coordination of new and existing psychiatric crisis service components, including TCBH and the F&CS-operated Community Outreach Psychiatric Emergency Services telephone and mobile response system, is an innovative approach.
"Best practices will be used to triage individuals and route them to the most appropriate level of care," Lapidus said. "By enhancing the system, we expect to improve patient experiences and outcomes, save money and reserve the higher-acuity resources for individuals with the most intensive needs."
Crisis services have been operating at capacity statewide for several years, according to the F&CS website. Resource challenges like budget cuts have worsened the situation and left too few services to address a growing demand.
ODMHSAS Commissioner Terri White said that their goal is to intervene early and avoid negative consequences, which often occur when people are unable to access services. She said the new services will not only be a help for those in Tulsa, but also the statewide treatment system as a whole.
For more information on F&CS, visit their website at www.fcsok.org. More information on ODMHSAS can be found on their website at www.ok.gov/odmhsas/.