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Welcome to the Empowered Patient Podcast with Karen Jagoda.  This show is a window into the latest innovations in digital health and the changing dynamic between doctors and patients.

Topics on the show include

  • the emergence of precision medicine and breakthroughs in genomics
  • advances in biopharmaceuticals
  • age-related diseases and aging in place
  • using big data from wearables and sensors
  • transparency in the medical marketplace
  • challenges for connected health entrepreneurs

The audience includes researchers, medical professionals, patient advocates, entrepreneurs, patients, caregivers, solution providers, students, journalists, and investors.

May 15, 2023

Colin LeClair, CEO of Connections Health Solutions, shares his concerns about the lack of resources for people needing behavioral health crisis care and solutions for urgent and emergency psychiatric services in a facility-based setting. With a community-based approach, Connections partners with hospitals, care facilities, service providers, and law enforcement to better understand patients dealing with complex behavioral challenges and provide new alternatives for care. 

Colin elaborates, "Right now, we have two of the largest crisis facilities, as we call them, in Arizona, one in Tucson and one in Phoenix. And those services include emergency psychiatric services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Crisis stabilization services for patients who need a few days to recover and get back on their medication regimen and for whom we can prepare a care plan. In addition, there is an observation unit, a 23-hour observation unit for patients who are very acute and require immediate stabilization in a very unrestricted environment to get them back on their feet and on the path to recovery. The facilities look like small hospitals. We operate in about 20,000 to 40,000 square feet. We see about one thousand patients a month in each of our facilities." 

"We take a lot of pride in saying that we never say no to a patient. And so the crisis is very self-defined. A patient who's in crisis may be having an anxiety attack, they may be new to the neighborhood, and they don't have a primary care physician or a primary psychiatric medical home. They just need a prescription refill. Or it could be somebody having a psychotic episode. We will treat anyone who comes to us."

"On the higher acuity end of the spectrum, about 60% of our patients arrive with first responders. They're often picked up in the community by first responders. And we're trying to be a better alternative for police and for the patient than going to an emergency department where treatment is not designed around a psychiatric patient or potentially jail. And so, again, 60% of our patients come to us involuntarily. We take a lot of pride in the fact that we are able to convert more than half of those patients to voluntary status. In other words, they agree to engage in their own treatment, and that's a very, very difficult thing to do."

#ConnectionsHealthSolutions #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek #MentalHealthisImportant #CrisisSupport #SelfCare #MentalHealth #MentalHealthMatters #988 

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