Three years ago, Tri-County Mental Health Services (TCMHS) and their partners at Central Maine Healthcare’s Bridgton Hospital started a project funded by Maine Health Access Foundation to bring behavioral health providers into doctor’s offices at Naples Family Practice, North Bridgton Family Practice, Fryeburg Family Medicine, Bridgton Pediatrics and Bridgton Internal Medicine. As a result, many patients have experienced holistic and integrated treatment and have also benefited from free monthly dinners that featured different topics related to well-being. Catherine R. Ryder, executive director of TCMHS, says integration has broken down many barriers and adds, “We know that good health encompasses the working of the body and the mind together; yet, over the years, the medical and mental health systems have become separated. With this project and others like it we’re bringing them back together with physical and mental health experts working on the whole patient.” The project has shown great outcomes including increased satisfaction for doctors in working with behavioral health professionals, increased sharing of information in real-time with a fully integrated electronic medical record, improved health for patients with complex needs, less waiting time for behavioral health assessment, greater patient satisfaction, and reduced stigma.
See the full article in the Sun Journal: http://www.sunjournal.com/news/connections/2013/01/10/groups-celebrate-three-years-integrated-health-car/1304353