Baptist Health Louisville closes the hospital’s inpatient psychiatric unit
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Baptist Health Louisville made the “difficult decision” to permanently shut down its inpatient psychiatric unit on Saturday, meaning patients in need of intensive mental health care must now move on to other community programs .
Baptist spokesperson Julie Garrison told the Courier Journal that the 22-bed psychiatric inpatient unit, also internally called the Crisis Management Unit, “was no longer staffed” as of Saturday.
According to Baptist, the lower daily patient count and the need for space for intensive care and cardiac monitoring beds were part of the motivation for the decision to close the inpatient psychiatric unit.
“The freed up space will be remodeled to accommodate 10 intensive care beds and 15 telemetry (cardiac) beds,” Garrison wrote in an email. “The need for sharper patient rooms is a great need at Baptist Health Louisville. Our average daily census for inpatient psychiatry was around 9 ”.
In an email newsletter sent to staff in early May, Baptist Health Louisville President Larry Gray said the hospital “made the difficult decision to shut down CMU on May 29 and instead have connections with other community inpatient programs, such as The Brook, to transfer patients. who need these intensive inpatient stays. “
“Our commitment to behavioral health services remains strong, however,” said Gray. “We understand that there is a growing need for services, especially on the outpatient side.”
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Baptist said its outpatient programs, which include group therapy, addiction support and classes focusing on psychoeducation as well as healthy coping skills, will continue.
“We have plans to expand the intensive outpatient program and other outpatient services,” Gray said. “We have such strength and expertise in the healthcare professionals that are part of our current behavioral health program. They will play a key role in the growth of the program to serve the community.
Ahead of Garrison’s email on Saturday, Baptist first told the Courier Journal on Friday that the 22-bed inpatient psychiatric unit would not close until July.
“We do not anticipate that patients within the unit, now at a reduced capacity of 12 patients due to COVID-19 restrictions, will be affected by this change,” the statement said, adding that Baptist “is working with the staff to retain and transition into new roles within the organization. ”
“Many CMU staff have found other positions within the hospital and we are very grateful to retain their expertise within Baptist Health,” said Debbie Nelson, Director of Nursing at the hospital, in the newsletter sent out earlier in May. “I thank all of the staff for their years of dedication to this patient population.”
Baptist also told the Courier Journal in a statement that it would focus on “increasing the number of Baptist Health Medical Group primary care practices with access to on-site behavioral health services for their patients.”
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Baptist Health Louisville, 4000 Kresge Way, offers a range of services in its 519 bed hospital.
It is one of nine Baptist Health hospitals spread across Kentucky and southern Indiana.
Changes to inpatient mental health services come as healthcare professionals hope COVID-19 vaccinations will continue to help end a pandemic that has caused anxiety, depression and depression. loneliness among young and old.
“We recognize that now more than ever, mental health services are badly needed,” the Baptist statement said. “The goal is to reinvent the behavioral health services offered by Baptist Health Louisville and use the resources where the community needs the most.”
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Baptist patients who were receiving hospital psychiatric services in Louisville may now have to turn to places like U of L Health – Peace Hospital on Newburg Road or The Brook Hospital in St. Matthews and Lyndon.
The issue of mental health care for the elderly has also been of concern to many during the pandemic, with older residents of hospitals and nursing homes isolated from their families and visitors earlier in the pandemic. Baptist had provided geriatric care as part of his inpatient psychiatric unit.
Other area hospitals that serve the elderly include Central State Hospital on La Grange Road as well as two options in southern Indiana: Wellstone Regional Hospital in Jeffersonville and Brightwell Behavioral Health in Clarksville.
This story can be updated.
Contact Billy Kobin at [email protected]