Dignity Health– St. Rose Dominican Hospitals

Behavioral Health Strategy and Crisis Center Development

  • Location: Henderson, NV


Dignity Health–St. Rose Dominican Hospitals (DH-SRDH) engaged ECG as an advisory partner to support ongoing efforts to identify, evaluate, and design care workflows for behavioral health patients. As a three-hospital system located in the Las Vegas area, DH-SRDH is the only faith-based nonprofit hospital system in Southern Nevada and serves a unique mix of full-time residents and a large tourist population. While the Las Vegas area is serviced by several health systems, behavioral health services are fragmented and access is limited.

the challenge

DH-SRDH struggled to meet the rising demand for behavioral health services in the Las Vegas area. The community had seen a 47% increase in inpatient (IP) stays with a primary behavioral health diagnosis in just over a year (2015–2016). Because of ECG’s long history of working with DH-SRDH on a range of strategic, financial, and operational projects, our behavioral health team was asked to assess IP and outpatient (OP) strategic options to improve care for mental health and substance use patients within the system’s service areas.

the process

To support DH-SRDH and address the needs of the community, ECG conducted a two-phase project that included an assessment of the service areas and the development of strategic recommendations. The assessment focused on gathering and analyzing background information and data on IP and OP utilization patterns to understand specific behavioral health service needs. Simultaneously, the team conducted interviews with stakeholders across the organization to understand the qualitative aspects of care delivery challenges. Next, the findings of the assessment were summarized, and a tactical set of recommendations were developed that would enable DH-SRDH to address the root causes ECG identified and reach its desired future state.

Case Study Dignity Health Bh Figure 1

the outcome

ECG determined that a recently opened facility and additional development planned in the area were saturating IP behavioral health bed capacity; therefore, DH-SRDH decided to focus its attention on developing innovative crisis stabilization and ambulatory care models. These models could improve access to behavioral health services and simultaneously decrease the current need to board patients in the system’s ERs—often for several days—while awaiting transfer to IP mental health facilities. The strategy also supported the forging of a public-private partnership that retrains law enforcement and reduces the market’s reliance on hospital ERs as a safety net for inadequately resourced state and county mental health systems. Development of a behavioral health crisis center is currently in the planning stages.

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