Access to psychiatric care in Seattle is daunting. Often psychiatrists and counselors do not take many forms of insurance. Those that do take insurance are often not accepting new patients. For patients suffering with psychiatric issues beyond the scope of primary care, it can be a frustrating process. Often patients fail to get in with an appropriate provider or take months to do so. In the meantime, the PCP manages the patient as best as he can. This may prolong a patient’s suffering. If the patient finds a psychiatrist, communication with external providers is often limited.
In 2014, The Polyclinic added behavioral health staff—a psychiatrist, ARNP, and LICSW psychotherapist—that are embedded in the primary care department.
By co-locating within primary care, we’re helping reduce the stigma of mental health services, in addition to making it easy for patients to access services.
With Polyclinic’s Behavioral Health services, patients are seen in a timely manner and acute issues are dealt with efficiently. If patients need ongoing care, the behavioral health team uses their contacts to assure care is provided. Often, once the patient is stabilized, he can be transferred back to the PCP for ongoing care.
Communication between providers is seamless and patient care is greatly improved with this integrated approach that allows behavioral health staff to truly collaborate with PCPs, and to access patient labs and prescriptions via the same electronic medical record. Polyclinic PCPs at all locations have embraced the approach.
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If you are in crisis, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).