On Jan. 31, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services introduced a new online hospital bed registry in an effort to reduce wait times for behavioral health patients.
The registry is called the Behavioral Health Statewide Central Availability Navigator (BH SCAN).
BH SCAN displays a list of available operational beds in behavioral health facilities across North Carolina. Providers may use BH SCAN to efficiently find and refer behavioral health patients to appropriate facilities for their treatment needs.
Behavioral health generally refers to mental health and substance use disorders and crises, among other conditions.
BH SCAN also allows referring providers and hospitals to search for available inpatient beds based on specific search criteria, such as demographics, commitment status and location.
“We hope it cuts down on all the administrative burden of care managers, hospitals, trying to find beds,” Kelly Crosbie, the director of the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Use Services for the NCDHHS, said. “But more importantly, we hope it cuts down the amount of time people wait in emergency departments.”
The NCDHHS launched BH SCAN in response to the behavioral health crisis in North Carolina, according to a press release.
“We don’t want people languishing in emergency departments. If they need critical inpatient care, we would like to get them in an available bed as soon as possible,” Crosbie said.
The registry will be available to facilities that encounter, assess and treat behavioral health patients suffering a crisis, including emergency departments, psychiatric inpatient hospitals and behavioral health urgent care centers.