Seton’s Psychiatric Emergency Department opened in late spring of 2014. The new psychiatric service is staffed by psychiatrists, psychiatric/family medicine advanced practice nurses, social workers, nurses, clinical assistants, and others. Seventeen rooms are divided into two sections: seven for ambulatory “treat and release” patients and 10 for acute patients who are brought in by law enforcement or who need to be transferred to a higher level of care. The unit that houses patients features easy access to bathrooms (including showers), space to walk around, visits in an enclosed patio, and opportunities to meet in a common room.
Patients over the age of 18 will be eligible for treatment at the new Psychiatric ED. Younger patients will continue to be diagnosed and treated at Dell Children’s Medical Center and at other local hospitals.
Behavioral health patients who also need emergency medical care will be treated first in the emergency rooms at UMC Brackenridge and other hospitals. When clinically indicated they will be transferred to the new psychiatric emergency department for evaluation after they are medically stabilized.
The Seton Psychiatric Emergency Department is expected to handle 2,500 patient visits through the end of September 2014. The numbers are expected to increase to 5,500 and 10,500 over the next two years.