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Nebraska to help create psychiatric care registry

February 26, 2019

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska is the only Midwest state that will be participating in a national project to develop registries to help people who need psychiatric care get into inpatient treatment more quickly.

Nebraska is among 23 states that will receive a $150,000 grant to participate, The Omaha World-Herald reported. The project aims to give providers one centralized resource to find available inpatient beds.

The program is funded by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors.

A centralized resource will help those in the behavioral field see what may be stopping patients from getting connected to treatment quickly, said Sheri Dawson, who leads the behavioral health division at the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

“We’re going to come at it from a quality-improvement standpoint,” Dawson said. “We really just want to have the data and (focus on) how can we find solutions to overcome whatever those barriers are.”

Staff often must call hospitals to keep track of available beds and the information can then quickly become out of date, said Patti Jurjevich, administrator of Region 6 Behavioral Healthcare, a mental health service in Omaha. While the registry project won’t create more beds, it will give officials a better idea of a community’s needs, she said.

“It all helps us get a better sense of who is seeking to access those acute care beds in the community,” Jurjevich said.

Representatives from local emergency departments, hospitals, county attorneys, behavioral-health providers and patients will work on the project, Dawson said. Eight states already have registries in place and will serve as models.

Nebraska’s registry is scheduled for testing this summer in Cass, Dodge, Douglas, Sarpy and Washington counties, Dawson said.

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com