Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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CRMC To Use Telehealth Screening For Psychiatric Patients

Cookeville Regional Medical Center set to use telehealth services to screen psychiatric patients in the emergency department.

CEO Paul Korth said currently, these patients will have to stay for long periods of time, sometimes two or three days before they are cleared to go somewhere for treatment. He said the practice could help the hospital decrease wait time by 63 percent for these patients.

“Our big savings is getting them out of the ER in a much more efficient and quicker time,” Korth said. “Because when they’re there they are utilizing nursing services to take care of them, also our security staff is having to monitor them.”

Korth said it will save the hospital as much, if not more than the cost of the service. He estimates that could total some $600,000 or $700,000.

The hospital sees about 75 to 100 patients a month who require these services. Korth said he believes the need for mental health screenings is a reflection of a need across the nation.

“Throughout the state and throughout the nation, I believe psychiatric visits to the emergency room have increased over the last couple of years,” Korth said. “I think it’s unrelated to Ten Broeck leaving, I think it’s just related to everything going on in the United States right now.”

Chief Operating Officer Buffy Key said such services can be utilized as soon as approved.