Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close

Five Valley Banner Health hospitals -- three in the East Valley -- are testing out a program that allows patients with behavioral health issues in the emergency room to see a psychiatrist via a secure video link.

It's called "Telepsych" -- almost immediate access from Banner Desert Medical, Banner Ironwood and Cardon Children's Medical Center to the Banner Psychiatric Center in Scottsdale. Banner Thunderbird in Glendale also piloted the program in October.

"They can stay here, they can have their assessment and the psychiatrist can recommend outpatient treatment and set them up with outpatient services," said Suzanne Gotell, Nursing Manager at Banner Ironwood.

Before, many of the patients were taken by ambulance to Scottsdale to be assessed and wait times for that assessment varied between 12 and 18 hours.

"It also decreases cost," said Gotell. "With this service, we'll now be able to discharge a vast majority of our patients -- approximately 50 percent -- instead of sending them to Scottsdale."

The service, used about 10 to 15 times a week, also helps get patients home sooner, Gotell said.

share this story:
Attention KTAR.com Comment Users: We have recently changed our comments boards.
We would like you to be part of the conversation and The Voice of Arizona by logging in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing KTAR (Arizona Sports) account members will need to create a Disqus account or use one of the aforementioned social media logins. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus

World Class Arizona

  • Dignity Health

    World Class People. World Class Company. Excellent care, delivered with compassion, for all in need.

Voice For A Better Arizona

  • Family in Focus

    KTAR spends the week taking a look at the issues a modern Arizona family faces.