announced today that due in part to its Psychiatric Emergency Medicine (PEM)
Telepsychiatry program, St. Rose Hospital
in Hayward, California, has been granted the authority to evaluate, place and discontinue 5150 psychiatric holds for patients who are in the hospital or Emergency Department (ED) for medical reasons.
The designation was granted by the Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services
(ACBHCS) department. Outlined in California’s Welfare and Institutions Code, the 5150 code
enables “designated health and safety professionals to place an individual deemed to be at risk of harming themselves or others into a designated mental health facility for up to 72 hours.”
Clinicians can request the on-demand psychiatry consult through CEP America’s telepsychiatry service, and a California-licensed and board-certified psychiatrist with specialized expertise in Emergency Psychiatry, available 24/7, will provide an evaluation, typically within one hour.
“Our goal is to set the gold standard for other Emergency Departments in California,” said Michael Cobb, Executive Director for the St. Rose Hospital Foundation. “We don’t want patients with mental health problems, or their loved ones, forced to wait for hours for evaluation or dispositions. We can now provide this important service at our facility, enabling our staff to better treat patients and perhaps avoid the need for transfers to another facility or costly hospitalizations.”
The telepsychiatry service, the first offered by CEP America, is available to any patient who presents to the St. Rose emergency department or is admitted to the hospital. The service is intended for patients with acute psychiatric symptoms who have been transported to St. Rose for medical evaluation as part of the County’s 5150 protocol.
“This is such an important and beneficial move for patients in Alameda County,” said Richard Valle, Alameda County District 2 Supervisor. “St. Rose will continue to fulfill its mission of providing core health services to uninsured and low-income patients in our community. However, now they will be able to better care for psychiatric patients while also improving the flow of patients to busy John George Psychiatric Hospital
Adds Michael Marchiano, MD, St. Rose Hospital Physician Advisor, “Traditionally, a 5150 patient would automatically be sent to John George, but often patients would have to wait for evaluations and transportation to John George or another facility, which often led to exacerbations in patients’ status. By securing a diagnosis via the telepsychiatry service, St. Rose will be better able to initiate treatment, perhaps avoiding hospitalization of patients or the need to transport them to another facility, thus creating a better environment for mentally ill patients.”
Another benefit of the new service is that before the approval of the 5150 status, initiating psychiatric holds at St. Rose required an onsite visit by a Hayward Police officer. The new program eliminates that requirement, freeing officers from this expensive, time-consuming duty that takes them away from community policing priorities.
“We think this arrangement is a win for everyone involved,” said Scott Zeller, MD, Vice President of Acute Psychiatric Medicine at CEP America, who also serves as Director of Psychiatry for St. Rose. “It’s better for all the mental health facilities and professionals in our community and, most importantly, ensures we provide better and faster care to patients with critical mental health needs.”
About St. Rose Hospital
Founded in 1962, St. Rose Hospital is a 217-bed, independent community hospital located in Hayward. The Hospital features the only Emergency Room in Hayward and is a Medi-Cal contracted facility as well as a designated Cardiac Receiving Center. For more information, contact Michael Cobb at 510-264-4139 or visit the St. Rose Hospital website at www.srhca.org