5 steps to improve behavioral health, eliminate gaps in care

A new guide from Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence provides hospitals with concrete steps for improving integrated, accessible behavioral health services by building community networks and partnerships that fill gaps in care.

Half of all Americans will develop a behavioral health disorder in their lifetimes, and 25 percent of adults experience mental illness each year, according to the guide.

The goal will be to integrate behavioral and physical healthcare services, build networks and partnerships with community stakeholders, emphasize preventative care and create alternative, sustainable payment models. Action steps to achieve those goals include:

  • Establishing a shared mission and vision for community stakeholders
  • Ensuring patients and families participate
  • Gaining buy-in and investment by community partners
  • Developing a multiyear, multiorganization plan that includes opportunities and barriers
  • Gathering and reporting metrics on quality and access

"By integrating behavioral and physical healthcare services, building networks or partnerships with community stakeholders to coordinate patient care and implementing alternative payment models to sustain needed services, hospitals and health systems can achieve the Triple Aim," the report concludes. "All these efforts will improve the patient experience of care, improve population health and reduce per capita cost."

To learn more:
- download the guide