Increasing access to specialty mental health providers at the Portland VA Medical Center by facilitating transfer of stable patients back to primary care: a quality improvement project Public Deposited

Veterans receiving mental health care through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) increased by 90% between 2006-2019, and the demand for outpatient mental health services is expected to rise by 32% over the next decade (Government Accountability Office [GAO], 2021). The veteran suicide rate is 1.5 times greater than the civilian population (GAO, 2021; VA, 2019), and lack of access to specialty mental health (SMH) care has been identified as a contributing factor (Carroll et al., 2020; Hoster et al., 2017). One way to improve access to SMH is by transferring psychiatrically stable patients from SMH to primary care (PC) for further management which will increase availability in SMH provider schedules for patients with acute mental health needs. The purpose of this project was to increase SMH providers’ ability to identify transfer-eligible patients and improve communication methods with PC to support the transfer of care.

Publication Date
  • 2023
Document type