It’s no secret that the mental health needs of youth have been intensifying. Getting young people the treatment they need in a crisis has become a greater challenge because of the length of time they must spend in the emergency room (often more than 12 hours) waiting for risk assessments and acute follow up care.
In this episode, Chris Leonard talks with Shana Palmieri, the co-founder and Chief Clinical Officer of XFERALL, an innovative mobile technology platform that can help schools (and healthcare and community professionals) get faster access to best-fit acute care, as well as other treatment resources, for young people experiencing a mental health crisis.
- The devastating outcomes that happen with delayed and denied access to acute mental health care.
- How schools can use XFERALL to quickly find access to inpatient care for students, with the chance to avoid the emergency department and associated costs.
- How the system takes the burden off school professionals to judge a student’s risk level.
- Additional proactive interventions schools can put in place to reduce the incidents of mental health crises among students and prevent the worst outcomes.
Excerpt from this episode:
According to the CDC, emergency room visits for suspected suicide attempts among adolescents aged 12 to 17 began to increase beginning in May 2020. Between February 2021 and March 2021 emergency room visits for suspected suicide attempts among girls were 50.6% greater than they were during the same period in 2019. The increase among boys was 3.7%.
These statistics are especially alarming in light of the pre-pandemic trends reported by the U.S. Surgeon General in December 2021. The Surgeon General cited studies which indicated that sadness and hopelessness had increased 40% for high school students between 2009 and 2019, and that suicide rates among young people ages 10 to 24 had increased 57% between 2007 and 2018.
The challenge of effectively meeting the intensifying mental health needs of youth has been exacerbated by the significant increase in the length of time young people spend in the emergency room waiting for risk assessments and acute follow up care.
A 2021 Yale University Study of emergency room visits by youth ages 6 to 17 between 2005 and 2015 found that length of stay increased by 24% for visits lasting more than 6 hours, and 12.7% for visits lasting more than 12 hours. Notably, Hispanic youth were three times more likely to be in the emergency room for more than 12 hours.
In addition to the delay in receiving care, time spent in the emergency room can be extremely stressful for young people especially when the screening they receive indicates a need for immediate inpatient treatment. Too frequently, the young patient is waiting…and waiting until a bed becomes available.
My guest today is Shana Palmieri, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker from Honolulu, Hawaii. Shana is the co-founder and Chief Clinical Officer of XFERALL, an innovative technology platform designed to create efficiency and improve patient care in the healthcare system by proactively matching patient needs to facility capabilities, and quickly connecting healthcare professionals to providers with the resources to treat patients’ conditions. XFERALL is designed to disrupt inefficiencies within the healthcare system with a specific focus on addressing urgent access to care for behavioral health and medical patients.
Click on the recording above to listen to the rest of the conversation.