Final Evaluation Report: St. Elizabeth Medical Center

Access to Mental Health Services through Emergency Department Telepsychiatry Program
Implementing Organization: 
St. Elizabeth Medical Center
Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky

The Access to Mental Health Services through Emergency Department Telepsychiatry program, operated by the St. Elizabeth Medical Center, works to address access to mental health professionals in communities in Northern Kentucky through the use of teleconferencing at community-based health facilities.

This study looked at the implementation of the program and preliminary outcomes for treated patients compared to general patient data from St. Elizabeth emergency department (ED) facilities, where in-person mental healthcare is provided.

The study found that:

  • Training of employees for the program was completed and considered successful;
  • The infrastructure for the program was adequate and ready;
  • 98 percent of eligible patients consented to receive telepsychiatry services;
  • The program increased the number of overall inpatient admissions by nearly 30 percent, but did not reduce the costs of mental healthcare in the ED; and
  • Target groups found a significantly lover rate of return visits to the ED within 30 days and within 1 year.

It should be noted that the proposed comparison group was not successfully matched, which affected the ability of the study to fully assess the impact.

CNCS Program(s): 
Social Innovation Fund
CNCS Focus Area(s): 
Healthy Futures
Age(s) Studied: 
18-25 (Young adult)
26-55 (Adult)
55+ (Older adult)
Outcomes Category(s): 
Access to Care
Study Type(s): 
Study Design(s): 
Level of Evidence: 
University of Kentucky Prevention Center
Year Published: 
Date Posted Online: 
June 8, 2017
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