Implementing Change to Decrease the Emergency Department Visits for Pediatric Clients Referred to Mental Health Services

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Sandoval, Diane
pediatric, mental health, emergency department visits
artifact description
The purpose of this clinical nurse leader (CNL) internship project is to implement an improvement intervention to decrease emergency department visits or psychiatric emergency services visit rates for pediatric clients receiving mental health services through the ambulatory clinic. The goal is to increase client safety by preventing harm to themselves or others and improving quality of care provided through timely nursing telephone triage. The project is taking place in a county run pediatric ambulatory clinic. We will participate in a shared leadership team to make recommendations for improvement at the microsystem level. Team members include the charge nurse, clinic manager, call center, call center supervisor, pediatric therapist (MFT), and pediatric nurses. We are implementing a flow chart to address the problem of missed opportunities to triage pediatric clients who are being referred to mental health services. The specific aim of this process improvement idea is to achieve the triage of 100% of pediatric clients who are being referred to mental health services by August 5, 2016. The project was supported by evidence-based research that shows that there as an increase in pediatric clients receiving mental health services in the United States. The implementation of the pediatric telephone triage flow chart showed a decrease in pediatric emergency department visits who reached out to the ambulatory clinic for mental health services.

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