8/18/2011 1:17 PM
Mary Jo Roseberry, PhD and Lisa Woods, LCSW recently received Certificates in Primary Care Behavioral Health from the University of Massachusetts Medical School. This program provides enhanced training for behavioral health professionals who practice in primary care settings and has specifically been designed for practices that are working towards receiving recognition as a Patient-Centered Medical Home, which Open Door Health Services (ODHS) is currently doing.
Through the Patient-Centered Medical Home program, practices are evaluated by a nationally accredited agency, which pays specific attention to how the practice makes medical care more convenient for patients. ODHS recently received funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration to begin this process and hopes to become recognized as a Patient-Centered Medical Home within the next year.
One example of the work ODHS has done to become a Patient-Centered Medical Home is the behavioral health department itself. A few years ago, ODHS recognized that many patients who were referred to external agencies for behavioral health services did not obtain them. In 2008, a plan was put into place to begin providing on-site behavioral health services that would allow a primary care provider to obtain those services for the patient immediately through a soft hand-off approach. This made patients feel more comfortable as they were accustomed to the environment and knew what to expect when they returned for a follow-up visit with the behavioral health specialist.