As hospitals and health systems better integrate behavioral and physical health, it is critical to ensure that patients and communities have access to the right providers to take care of behavioral health needs now and in the future. There are seven steps hospital leaders can take to strengthen their behavioral health care workforce: 

  • Assess the current workforce and patient population to find the gaps between what the community’s needs are and the type of providers needed to care for them. 
  • Ensure the workforce is knowledgeable about the social determinants of health in the community and about cultural competence.
  • Train health care providers in behavioral health screening techniques, as well as trauma informed care.
  • Set up a procedure of assessment, treatment and referral that happens at the site of the initial visit, if possible.
  • Use interprofessional education and team-based training to integrate physical and behavioral health care.
  • Partner with higher education programs in the community to enhance recruitment and retention of behavioral health care providers.
  • Engage the community to strengthen care transitions and better integrate behavioral health care into the community. 

Details on these steps and more are included in a report released today by the AHA that looks at how hospitals and health systems are bridging the gap between the need for behavioral health care in their communities and a shortage of trained specialists. “The State of the Behavioral Health Workforce: A Literature Review” provides a look at the current workforce challenges and opportunities facing hospitals and health systems as well as examples of how to integrate behavioral and physical health in new and innovative ways. 

The new report and additional resources on hospital and health system workforce issues are available at aha.org

 

Related News Articles

Headline
After losing 1.5 million jobs in April, the health care field added 312,000 jobs in May, increasing 2% to a seasonally adjusted 15.2 million, the Bureau of…
Headline
Employment at the nation's hospitals fell by 2.6% in April to a seasonally adjusted 5,130,000 people, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. That's 134…
Headline
President Trump yesterday suspended new immigrant visas for 60 days, exempting medical and other essential workers combating the COVID-19 emergency.
Blog
Health care workers around the country are working tirelessly to help patients who are sick with COVID-19 get better. That is in and of itself an incredibly…
Blog
The AHA strives to ensure the hospital and health system field’s voice is heard in the news and media and any discussion of health care. The association…
Headline
Employment at the nation's hospitals rose by 0.004% in March to a seasonally adjusted 5,261,500 people, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.…