Reflecting both the national opioid-abuse crisis and rising awareness of mental health conditions, hospitals are recognizing an intense need to accommodate cognitively impaired patients more effectively and more sensitively in the emergency department (ED).
Connecticut’s Waterbury Hospital and Newport Hospital in Rhode Island Lead the Way
Hospital leaders are seeking a careful balance in separating patients who pose a risk to themselves and others from the general Emergency Department (ED) population. The goal is to ensure all patients are treated with compassion and dignity. At facilities such as Connecticut’s Waterbury Hospital and Newport Hospital in Rhode Island, areas within the ED are being designed for people and families who are experiencing or approaching a crisis requiring behavioral-health or addiction-management intervention.
Addressing Behavioral-Health & Addiction-Management Intervention Needs
Addressing behavioral-health and addiction-management intervention needs in the emergency room can be done with careful planning and design. Because patients with cognitive impairment and behavioral issues often require longer stays in the ED than the general population, an emerging best design practice is adding features for them such as bathroom showers, places to securely store belongings, and access to decompression space.
“2018 Predictions for Healthcare Facility Design.” Building Design + Construction, 11 Dec. 2017, www.bdcnetwork.com/2018-predictions-healthcare-facility-design.