Healthcare Design Magazine recently interviewed Diane Osan, our pediatric health practice leader, on how the influx of children with behavioral health needs is impacting pediatric environments. The article, entitled “Answering the Call,” features insights from numerous industry leaders and profiles a variety of children’s health centers that have focused on delivering necessary behavioral health services and creating a sense of normalcy for pediatric patients. The article also referenced our soon to be opened Virginia Treatment Center for Children Replacement Facility, which will be one of the largest free-standing children’s mental health centers in the U.S.

Below are key excerpts:

Delivering specialty care is in the DNA of children’s hospitals, where the sickest of kids go to receive expert treatment for the most complex conditions. Now, many pediatric hospitals are widening their specialty scope to include behavioral health, driven by the rising number of patients with behavioral health needs who are presenting at children’s hospital as well as growing recognition of mental health conditions and increased funding to treat them. “It’s finally getting attention as an issue,” Osan says. “There’s increased awareness of the long-term challenges for society if we don’t deal with mental health problems.”

Patients in crisis often enter a healthcare system through the emergency department (ED), and as the volume of behavioral health patients has risen, pediatric hospitals are finding that their existing care processes and treatment spaces aren’t designed to answer that demand. This realization is fueling renovation and expansion projects and driving a new approach to operations and care delivery.

“Children’s hospitals are beginning to say, ‘OK, how do we deal with this and how do we manage this differently? Because the influx of patients who need to have a behavioral health response and care processes are presenting in unprecedented ways,” Osan says.

Read the full article here, starting on page 52.

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