Shaving time in the emergency room for those in psychiatric crisis wins awards for Sutter, Yuba counties

Sutter County Board of Supervisors Chair Dan Flores (right) and Yuba County Board of Supervisors Chair Randy Fletcher  (center) accepted the California State Association of Counties Challenge Awards for the Sutter-Yuba Behavioral Health partnership with Rideout Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Department in a ceremony today at Rideout Regional Medical Center, the trauma center for both Sutter and Yuba counties. Rideout Health Director of Emergency Services Theresa Hyer (left) said that the program of embedding Sutter-Yuba Behavioral Health crisis workers in the emergency room 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the use of tele-medicine to access psychiatrists, has sped diagnosis, improved outcomes, and reduced time in the hospital for patients reporting in psychiatric distress. If the program were to be replicated in other hospitals, they would see the same improvement in patient care and reduction in the need for psychiatric hospital beds, she said.

The California State Association of Counties (CSAC) presented Challenge Awards to Sutter and Yuba County officials today for Innovation in providing Health and Human Services in a ceremony hosted by Rideout Regional Medical Center, where embedding Sutter-Yuba Behavioral Health crisis workers in the emergency room has reduced the time it takes to diagnose and treat people who show up in psychiatric distress.

The unique program is the subject of growing interest and Theresa Hyer,, the Director of Rideout Emergency Services, said hospitals throughout the country could achieve the same results by replicating the program that began here. The collaboration has already been the subject of an Innovation Award from the California Hospital Association, was the subject of a presentation to the Emergency Nurses Association in St. Louis, and will be the subject of a presentation to the American Association of Psychiatrists in May.

In addition to presenting the challenge award, CSAC staff are preparing a video about the program which will be shared throughout the state.

Congratulations to the staff of Sutter-Yuba Behavioral Health Services and Rideout Health for a collaboration which may inspire other communities to get mental health professionals in the emergency departments to speed diagnosis of this growing population of emergency room visitors.

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Rideout, CSAC, Sutter County, and Yuba County representatives at the Challenge Award presentation in the cafeteria of the new Rideout Regional Medical Center.