RD852 - Report of the Behavioral Health Records-Sharing Workgroup – December 22, 2021

Executive Summary:

Item 320.JJ of the 2021 Appropriations Act directs the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) to convene a workgroup to review the sharing of patient information between community hospitals and community services boards (CSBs) for individuals subject to an evaluation for a temporary detention order (TDO). Specifically, the workgroup focused on the question of whether the full preadmission screening form completed by a CSB Certified Preadmission Screening Clinician (CPSC) should be consistently shared with the treating physician in the emergency department where the evaluation for TDO takes place.

The workgroup – consisting of representatives from hospitals, emergency department physicians, CSBs, and mental health advocates – was not able to come to a consensus as to whether the full preadmission screening form should be consistently shared. Individual privacy concerns were raised with sharing the full form, though it was agreed that any information collected that would be helpful with treatment should be shared to improve care coordination. Ultimately, these decisions must be made depending on the specific circumstances of each situation.

The workgroup did develop general recommendations related to the sharing of behavioral health records for individuals subject to a TDO evaluation.

1. Consider the development of general guidelines or best practices for care provided to patients undergoing an evaluation for temporary detention in the emergency department.

2. Develop guidelines for CSB evaluators on information sharing that can be posted to the DBHDS website and disseminated to CSBs.

3. Implement the quality-related recommendations of the TDO Evaluator workgroup, including development of centralized oversight of the evaluation process, documentation of discussions related to an individual’s care, increased use of peer support specialists, and examination of pathways for enhanced psychiatric clinical management during the length of the emergency custody order.(*1)
(*1) 320.II of the 2021 Appropriations Act. TDO Evaluator Workgroup, DBHDS. (2021). Report available on December 1, 2021.