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RWJF Innovation Award

Department of Psychiatry Faculty and UPMC Mercy Colleagues Share
RWJF Emergency Care Innovation of the Year Award


Dr Turturro

Dr. Nash

Dr. Stile

Dr. Kmiec

Dr. Musher

Dr. Rozel

Dr. Stowell

Urgent Matters, a national initiative funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), has presented the Emergency Care Innovation of the Year Award to UPMC in recognition of the collective efforts of faculty and staff at UPMC Mercy and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC to improve meeting the overwhelming local demand for behavioral health and detoxification services, and the team’s successes in providing the right level of care in the right setting in a more timely manner.

In collaboration with Michael A. Turturro, MD, FACEP, Chief of Emergency Services at UPMC Mercy and his colleagues,  Department of Psychiatry faculty used existing resources and cultivated community partnerships to develop several interventions that were implemented both in the emergency department and inpatient units, with the goal of improving and streamlining the care and management of behavioral health and detoxification patients. The results include a significant decrease in length of stay for both discharged and admitted mental health and detoxification patients. 

Drs. Ken Nash, Sabato Stile, Julie Kmiec, Jeremy Musher, Jack Rozel and Keith Stowell worked with Dr. Turturro to address patient flow, disposition, and to increase overall patient satisfaction.   This was achieved through a collaborative effort which eventually embedded three experienced re:solve clinicians in the Department of Emergency Medicine. The re:solve clinicians worked with more than 600 people and the approach resulted in the diversion of 65% of patients from further emergency room or inpatient care during the first six months of operation. 

Dr. Turturro will represent the team and will give a presentation titled Behavioral Health and Detoxification Meeting Demand for Services that outlines these efforts at the Annual Meeting of the American College of Emergency Physicians  and the Urgent Matters: Emergency Care Quality Improvement in the Era of Public Accountability Pre-Conference on October 13, 2013 in Seattle, Washington.

The RWJF Urgent Matters program is dedicated to finding, developing and delivering strategies to improve patient flow and reduce emergency department crowding.  The program highlights patient flow best practices through its educational activities including: e-newsletters, web seminars, and regional conferences.