Developing Patient-Friendly Behavioral Health Services
Even when there are systems in place to screen patients for abnormal behavioral health, that doesn’t always mean patients will seek out care. How can health centers help patients feel more comfortable pursuing the help they need from behavioral health providers? In our 2017 cycle of Catalyst, Asian Health Services began piloting a solution to better connect patients to behavioral health services.
Patients at Asian Health Services have high rates of behavioral health issues, yet very few of those patients schedule appointments with a behavioral health provider. Even among those that do, no-show rates are high. The clinics discovered that patients weren’t seeking care for a number a reasons:
- They don’t think they need help and can solve their problems on their own.
- They don’t think behavioral health services will help or lack an understanding of what behavioral health services have to offer.
- They find it difficult to share personal and family secrets with strangers.
To address these hesitations, a co-design team of patients, medical and behavioral health providers, and frontline staff developed tools and workflows to help introduce behavioral health services in more concrete, patient-friendly ways.