Design a workflow for the integration of behavioral health

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WADA’s “Practical Guide to Workflow Design” offers best practices and tools to create an effective and efficient integrated workflow, enabling primary care providers and their care teams to overcome key barriers. the operationalization of integrated behavioral health (BH) care in their practice.

This is part of WADA’s broader efforts to empower healthcare organizations to overcome barriers to accessible and equitable treatment for the behavioral, mental and physical health needs of their patients.

Strategies for designing the workflow

Workflows may appear different depending on the practice setting, current staffing and overall financial considerations; however, the general sequences of actions are often consistent. Adjust to meet identified practice needs and available resources.

The workflow design approach requires that practices and systems consider key issues, such as:

  • Recruitment. What type of administrative and clinical staff does the practice need?
    • Key factors include patient demographics, financial considerations and practice setting as well as day-to-day operations, clinical care, and data / record management needs.
  • Transfers. How and how often will staff discuss BH cases?
  • Crisis protocols. Who develops and maintains a list of references with contact details for higher level care?
  • Technology. How and under what circumstances will telehealth be used, if at all, to provide care in BiH?
  • Billing and coding. Are the correct codes available in the electronic medical record system?
  • Feedback from patients and staff. How is patient and staff feedback collected and used to iterate and improve the Behavioral Health Integration (BHI) workflow?

The guide provides sample workflows (PDF) and an editable plan (PDF) to help practices and systems create their own workflow that works best for them and their patients.

Work from general to particular

High level design includes:

  • Identify and involve patients
  • Identify and initiate treatment
  • Management of the treatment plan and follow-up
  • Proactive treatment adjustment

Details are also detailed, with sample checklists provided for use. Physicians and practices are urged to consider staffing and training, any available technology, their billing and coding procedures, active crisis protocols, and patient and staff feedback.

Download WADA’s “BHI Workflow Guide” (PDF) for Primary Care Providers and Health Systems to learn more about creating an effective workflow to meet the behavioral health needs of their patients.

Check out BHI Collaborative’s Behavioral Health Integration Compendium, which serves as a tool to help provide healthcare organizations with a proven pathway to deliver integrated behavioral care and ensure they have the most relevant information. recent and usable.


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