Lincoln Medical Center recently joined with health care professionals and community leaders to open the hospital’s new 30-bed inpatient psychiatry unit, nearly doubling its psychiatric hospitalization capacity. The new unit, made possible by a $5.3 million New York state Health Care Efficiency and Affordability (HEAL NY) Phase 18 Grant, will increase the number of patients served, reduce wait time for inpatient beds, improve patient flow in the hospital’s Psychiatric Emergency Room and virtually eliminate transfers to other facilities—currently at 40 percent of all psychiatry admissions.
The new, beautifully designed 13,420-square-foot inpatient unit features a sun-lit atrium that has a multipurpose dining room and staff-supervised kitchenette, a laundry room available for patient use and spacious rooms designated for group activity, occupational therapy and family visits. Each patient room is outfitted with new furniture, top-of-the-line safety hardware and large windows with beautiful views of the community. An elegant open-style nursing station with natural light provides a welcoming atmosphere for patients.
In addition, Lincoln Medical Center has implemented the “Nurse Assistant System” in the delivery of care. This method consists of a wireless panic alarm that alerts staff and hospital police whenever a patient has an episode that may jeopardize safety. This state-of-the-art-technology, along with video monitoring of the unit, will create an even safer environment for both patients and staff.
“Lincoln continues to increase its capacity to render quality care to the community,” said Denise Soares, senior vice president of Generations+/Northern Manhattan Health Network. “This recent expansion allows Lincoln to enhance its ability to provide state-of-the-art psychiatric care with a comprehensive array of therapeutic service designed to help those most vulnerable among us.”
Lincoln Medical Center Executive Director Milton Nuñez added, “Over the past several years, Lincoln Medical Center has witnessed a sustained increase in the number of individuals seeking care in the psychiatric emergency room, many of whom require admission. At the same time, the number of psychiatric beds in New York City has decreased. This new unit will enhance our ability to provide quality mental health services across the continuum of care and furthers our goals to meet the population’s behavioral health needs.”
“Our team at Lincoln does an outstanding job providing quality care, and monitoring and addressing patient flow to ensure that patients get the required level of care needed,” said Chief of Psychiatry Dr. Miklos Losonczy. “The additional inpatient capacity will help reduce waiting times in the psychiatric emergency department and enable patients who need intensive treatment to receive faster care in a new therapeutic environment.”
In fiscal year 2013, Lincoln’s behavioral health service had 771 inpatient stays and 31,472 outpatient visits. The new unit will utilize a multidisciplinary team approach that’s already in effect at the existing inpatient unit. The staff will provide treatment in a structured setting with daily scheduled activities, including medical and nursing care, pharmacotherapy, individual and group therapy, health and nutrition education, support and referral services, family crisis intervention, addiction services, peer counseling, recreation, physical exercise and case management. Additional programmatic enhancements will include the development of a Consumer Council that will work with the hospital to identify opportunities for continuous improvements.