Implementing An Interprofessional Outpatient Mental Health Model With Registered Nurses

Mental illness is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States. One in five adults received a mental illness diagnosis in the past year, yet the number of mental health professionals cannot meet the demand for services. Delays in outpatient treatment result in visits to emergency rooms and unnecessary inpatient hospitalizations, which cause an increase in overall medical costs. The goal of this quality improvement project was to implement the mental health outpatient nurses in interprofessional teams (MONIT) model and evaluate its impact on the quality and accessibility of care of outpatient services for clients with mental illness at two mental health clinics in rural Pennsylvania. A total of 26 participants were enrolled. This project measured 1) access to outpatient mental health care, 2) symptom severity, 3) use of emergency services, and 4) adoption of the model evidenced by weekly staff huddles. Findings were not significant, but improvement was noted in all measures. For the measure access to care, the wait time period from initial request to actual appointment showed minimal change. For the measure of symptom severity, only one participant’s PHQ-9 score was recorded for three months post-introduction of the model with a baseline score of 12 (moderate depression) and a follow-up score of one (mild depression) after three months of treatment. Use of emergency crisis intervention did not change, but hospitalizations dropped 75% from four hospitalizations to one hospitalization. Access to care findings revealed that the wait time period from initial request to actual appointment showed very little change. The number of expected weekly huddles was 13, and 10 were completed for a compliance rate of 77%. This rate suggests the adoption of the model was only modest. Future implications could include increased adoption of team models of care, expanded roles for RNs in mental health care, improved access, improved quality of care, and decreased overall costs for mental health outpatient treatment.

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Work Title Implementing An Interprofessional Outpatient Mental Health Model With Registered Nurses
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Penn State
Creators Mary Alyce Nelson
Version number 1
Keyword DNP Project; Outpatient Mental Health Care; Interprofessional Model; Registered Nurse
License Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)
Work Type Project
Acknowledgments Kelly A. Wolgast, DNP, RN, FACHE, FAAN; Ying-Ling Jao, Ph.D, RN; Sandra Halbruner, DNP, CRNP
Publication Date April 15, 2019
Subject Interprofessional outpatient mental health model with registered nurses
Language English
DOI doi:10.26207/0pv7-j432
Deposited April 15, 2019 21:25

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