The project involves the construction of a new 14,000 square foot comprehensive behavioral health emergency room with walk-in assessment, outpatient crisis, 20 bed stabilization unit and a 24 hour observation area. In addition, the project includes the renovation of an existing 14,600 square foot facility constructed in 1955 to provide treatment, education and case management services to clients with severe and persistent mental health issues. The project will service both children and adults with mental health crisis issues that result in involuntary placement into care or “Baker Acted” care. There is documented need for expansion of beds with the Bartow crisis stabilization unit (CSU) operating at emergency status 65% of the time and 45% of the time over licensed capacity. Emergency status is defined as operating at too high a capacity to accept transfers from any other facilities such as law enforcement or local hospital Baker Acted clients. Currently Baker Acted clients are taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Room (ER) – one of the busiest ER’s in the state of FL based on the sponsor’s submission.
The project will aid in reducing the number of patients that are transferred to other providers in Orlando and Tampa or in areas beyond and decompress the ER by adding treatment capacity of roughly 2,000 patients per year. Further, it is anticipated that readmission rates will decrease by creating this capacity locally as higher readmission rates are typically experienced when services are provided away from family and other support grouping. By decompressing the ER and triaging these cases to the behavioral health center the ER will be able to lower costs and expand services to other persons in need of immediate care.