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Achievement Awards Spotlight: St. Luke’s University Health Network

August 18, 2023

HAP's annual Achievement Awards honor hospitals and health systems for their innovation, creativity, and commitment to patient care. The Achievement Awards showcase and share member hospitals’ and health systems’ successful programs and best practices.

This year, St. Luke’s University Health Network received the Excellence in Care award for its outstanding project to reduce readmissions for patients following a behavioral health emergency.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The challenge:  Across the U.S., acute behavioral health units have high readmission rates from 5 percent to 36 percent or higher―with the highest rates related to those patients with a schizophrenia, bipolar, major depressive, substance use or personality disorder diagnosis and who utilize Medicare or Medicaid.
  • Taking action:  The health system created a Readmission Task Force and later a Behavioral Health High Utilizer Team responsible for developing, writing, reviewing, and updating Behavioral Health High Utilizer Care Plans (BH-HUCP) for emergency department providers and other clinicians.
  • Results:  Following implementation for its project, the health network noted a continued downward trend in behavioral health readmission rates over time demonstrating the sustainability of this quality initiative.
  • Big takeaway:  Collaboration between behavioral health, medical, crisis, and emergency department professionals—along with the therapeutic promotion of patients’ recovery post-discharge—can help reduce 30-day behavioral health readmission rates.
  • Quotable:  “We encourage teams to pursue their quality projects and not be deterred as development and change may take time and continuous effort, however, the results can evoke a remarkably significant positive impact for patients, hospital staff, and the community,” the team noted in its entry.

Congratulations to St. Luke’s University Health Network for its tremendous dedication to care for patients with behavioral health needs and this effort to reduce readmission.

Questions about the HAP Achievement Awards may be directed to HAP Member Services at (717) 561-5359.