Stories of Change: How We’re Transforming Clinical Practice to Better Treat Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders
Well Being Trust is led by clinical experts who’ve dedicated their lives and careers to improving the well-being of patients and communities. We know the challenges patients, practitioners, and health systems face when it comes to addressing mental health and substance use disorders. Just as importantly, we know there are solutions and opportunities for change, and we understand the nation must work together to transform the way mental health care is provided and ensure everyone has access to high quality care.
To that end, one of the first things we did after our founding in 2016 was work with Providence St. Joseph Health to create, fund, and lead the Clinical Performance Group, a system-wide learning collaborative that aims to improve care and delivery.
Transforming mental health care will help end the mental health and substance misuse crisis our nation faces and ensure our youngest live healthier, longer lives. Through this learning collaborative, we’ve unearthed solutions that cut across care environments, focusing on five critical areas:
- Integrating behavioral health into primary care.
- Transforming substance use treatment and services.
- Finding better ways to care for people with mental health issues in the emergency department and address upstream non-medical factors.
- Spreading high quality solutions for telebehavioral health.
- Implementing the Zero Suicide initiative system wide.
These efforts are building exciting momentum. Recently, we published the following examples of clinical transformation in action:
- Clinics training clinics on how to expand behavioral health care: How Oregon’s Providence Medical Group is helping a PSJH’s Northern California system integrate mental health into primary care
- A standard of care for depression: Addressing one of America’s most common mental illness can be challenging for primary care providers. This is one example of practitioners working to change that.
- Caring for children’s mental health needs in — and out — of the emergency department: A collaboration in Oregon could be a model for dealing with a troubling national trend
- Seeking better results for behavioral health patients: Emergency departments aren’t set up for patients with behavioral health concerns. Providence Regional Medical Center Everett is redesigning its standard of care.
- Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Orange County, California, has brought dedicated support for mental health patients inside the emergency department—providing bedside counselors for patients in crisis.
- Seattle health care network Swedish is using technology to dismantle barriers to mental health treatment in the primary care office.
- Providence Alaska Medical Center, in Anchorage, is piloting several initiatives that increase access to successful substance use disorder treatment, without stigma.
- With the help of an actuarial firm, we’ve created a tool that could help health care institutions make the business case for using proven behavioral health interventions in primary care settings.
We envision a world in which no one struggles alone. The Clinical Performance Group is helping to move us closer to that vision. As our learning grows, we believe it will lead to best-in-class solutions that deliver the highest quality care; improved outcomes for patients and quality of work and life for caregivers; a blueprint for other systems and care settings to begin their own transformations; and a strong return on investment.