News Feed Item
Cambridge Health Alliance to Close Psychiatric Emergency Unit Compromising the Care of Those with Acute Mental Illness
Decision Comes at a Time of Critical Shortage for Mental Health Services in the State, According to the Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United
|By PR Newswire
|April 17, 2014 04:31 PM EDT
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 17, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- At a time when there is a critical shortage of mental health services and more than 40,000 patients a year are boarding in our state's hospital emergency departments for days and even weeks, Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) has announced plans to close its highly regarded, and highly utilized, psychiatric emergency services unit (PES) - a move nurses and mental health advocates believe will decimate the quality and safety of care for psychiatric patients who are in crisis.
Located on the CHA's Cambridge Hospital campus, the PES is a unique unit that depends on skilled RNs and staff members to provide specialized care to those with mental illness. This practice stands in sharp contrast to how psychiatric patients are treated at most other hospitals in the state where, instead, they are simply boarded in overcrowded emergency departments with little or no immediate access to comprehensive care.
Specialized services offered by the PES include 24-hour care for people in severe behavioral and emotional distress; care to people of all ages from across the entire Greater Boston region and beyond; a full range of comprehensive emergency evaluations, interventions, and referrals; psychiatrists on duty 24-hours a day to help manage all acute mental health emergencies; medication assessment and management; and referral and admission services. Additionally, the actual unit - as well as how it is managed - was created with the unique needs of crisis-afflicted mental health patients in mind.
"The unit's rooms are all private and are entirely contained," described Lyons-Connors. "All access doors are secured with multiple locks and are monitored through a variety of fashions; any and all items that could be used as weapons to self-harm are completely removed; noise and distractions are controlled so that a patient's situation isn't worsened by overstimulation; and the RNs and staff who work on the unit are experts at providing the kind of unique, specialized care that these patients require."
According to CHA's web site, the hospital will cease operations on the unit on June 4, 2014, at which point, "the PES will move down the hall into the [regular] Emergency Department at the Cambridge Hospital Campus … All patients seeking emergency care should go to the main entrance of the ED, which is in the Cambridge Hospital lobby." In addition, the hospital also plans to lay off all of the unit's psychiatric nurses, social workers, and milieu counselors - a move that will 1) leave the hospital depending more on its public safety officers and 2) will likely lead to an increase in the use of restraints with patients suffering an acute mental health emergency.
"The hospital views this as nothing more than a simple merger of the two units that provide emergency services," said Ellen Lyons-Connors, a registered nurse who has worked on the unit for more than 15 years. "But the truth is, elimination of the PES represents the total loss of a specialized unit that was created with the unique needs of the area's mentally ill in mind."
The hospital's announcement just barely preceded "Mental Health Advocacy Day," an annual event coordinated by the Massachusetts office of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). As part of its early-April "Advocacy Day" efforts, NAMI released a corresponding report that quantified just how much decimation the commonwealth's fragile mental health system has sustained recently:
- After slashing its mental health budget in 2009, Massachusetts now ranks last in percent growth for mental health funding out of all of the New England states.
- There has been a 40 percent decrease in the number of public beds available for mental health patients since 2005.
- This reduction in beds/services has been a key reason as to why more than 40,000 psychiatric patients are needlessly boarded in hospital emergency department beds annually.
"If closure of the PES goes forward, patients and their families will suffer unnecessarily," said Jo Ann Emerald, a longtime PES RN. "Waiting times will be longer, assessments will take longer, and medication delivery will take longer. At best, this will leave psych patients who are in crisis languishing in a general ED that is too open and too dangerous. At worst, it will lead to increased violence by patients. Either way, it is wrong."
"It isn't like there are a lot of options for these patients," added Lyons-Connors. "There's nowhere left to go. The beds at other hospitals are gone and the services everywhere else have been slashed. Cambridge is just the latest in a long line of hospitals that are willing to sacrifice the needs of the mentally ill all in the name of cost savings."
MNA RNs, other hospital staff members and local mental health advocacy organizations have all announced their commitment to fighting the proposed closure. Grassroots organizing initiatives, including a petition campaign, are underway. Visit MassNurses.org for details.
Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United is the largest professional health care organization and the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its 23,000 members advance the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Legislature and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public. The MNA is a founding member of National Nurses United, the largest national nurses union in the United States with more than 170,000 members from coast to coast.
Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20060525/NETH016LOGO
SOURCE Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it ...
Jul. 27, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 157
Redis is not only the fastest database, but it is the most popular among the new wave of databases running in containers. Redis speeds up just about every data interaction between your users or operational systems.
In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Dave Nielsen, Developer Advocate, Redis Labs, will share the functions and data structures used to solve everyday use cases that are driving Redis' popularity.
Jul. 27, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,610
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Jul. 27, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,846
To leverage Continuous Delivery, enterprises must consider impacts that span functional silos, as well as applications that touch older, slower moving components. Managing the many dependencies can cause slowdowns. See how to achieve continuous delivery in the enterprise.
Jul. 27, 2016 04:18 PM EDT Reads: 106
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
Jul. 27, 2016 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,101
"Software-defined storage is a big problem in this industry because so many people have different definitions as they see fit to use it," stated Peter McCallum, VP of Datacenter Solutions at FalconStor Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 27, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,514
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases.
In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Jul. 27, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,733
Is your aging software platform suffering from technical debt while the market changes and demands new solutions at a faster clip?
It’s a bold move, but you might consider walking away from your core platform and starting fresh. ReadyTalk did exactly that.
In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and over a decade of audio conferencing product development to start an innovati...
Jul. 27, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,048
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus...
Jul. 27, 2016 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 961
StackIQ has announced the release of Stacki 3.2. Stacki is an easy-to-use Linux server provisioning tool. Stacki 3.2 delivers new capabilities that simplify the automation and integration of site-specific requirements. StackIQ is the commercial entity behind this open source bare metal provisioning tool.
Since the release of Stacki in June of 2015, the Stacki core team has been focused on making the Community Edition meet the needs of members of the community, adding features and value, while ...
Jul. 27, 2016 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 431
Deploying applications in hybrid cloud environments is hard work. Your team spends most of the time maintaining your infrastructure, configuring dev/test and production environments, and deploying applications across environments – which can be both time consuming and error prone. But what if you could automate provisioning and deployment to deliver error free environments faster? What could you do with your free time?
Jul. 27, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 259
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications.
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability.
Jul. 27, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,187
SYS-CON Events announced today the Kubernetes and Google Container Engine Workshop, being held November 3, 2016, in conjunction with @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
This workshop led by Sebastian Scheele introduces participants to Kubernetes and Google Container Engine (GKE). Through a combination of instructor-led presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on labs, students learn the key concepts and practices for deploying and maintainin...
Jul. 27, 2016 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 838
The competitive landscape of the global cloud computing market in the healthcare industry is crowded due to the presence of a large number of players. The large number of participants has led to the fragmented nature of the market. Some of the major players operating in the global cloud computing market in the healthcare industry are Cisco Systems Inc., Carestream Health Inc., Carecloud Corp., AGFA Healthcare, IBM Corp., Cleardata Networks, Merge Healthcare Inc., Microsoft Corp., Intel Corp., an...
Jul. 27, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,036
Cloud analytics is dramatically altering business intelligence. Some businesses will capitalize on these promising new technologies and gain key insights that’ll help them gain competitive advantage. And others won’t.
Whether you’re a business leader, an IT manager, or an analyst, we want to help you and the people you need to influence with a free copy of “Cloud Analytics for Dummies,” the essential guide to this explosive new space for business intelligence.
Jul. 27, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 857