NIATx Wisconsin Mental Health Collaborative Renewed for 2016

Submitted by: 02/08/2016 by Maureen Fitzgerald

The NIATx Wisconsin Mental Health Collaborative, first launched in 2010, will continue in 2016 with renewed funding from the Wisconsin Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. NIATx Deputy Director Todd Molfenter leads the project, which aims to reduce psychiatric hospital readmissions.

In 2016, Round VII of the Collaborative, 17 Wisconsin counties will participate, along with the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin and three agencies that offer Recovery Oriented Systems of Care (ROSC) services. This brings the total number of counties participating in the collaborative since 2010 to 41, or more than half of Wisconsin’s 72 counties.

“NIATx is glad to see so many Wisconsin counties engaged in addressing mental health inpatient readmissions and other quality issues,” says Molfenter.

The project uses the NIATx learning collaborative structure to provide education and support for implementing the NIATx model. The collaborative structure runs on an annual cycle that begins with an in-person kick-off meeting, continues with coaching support and peer networking while change teams conduct their change projects, and concludes with a summation meeting.

In previous rounds of the project, counties have focused on improving processes related to pre-admission, discharge planning, or post-discharge services.  For example:

·      In Rock County, a walk-through of the crisis phone line system helped the change team increase mobile responses to mental health emergencies and divert patients from psychiatric hospitalization.

·      In Jefferson County, revamping the county’s youth crisis stabilization plan reduced adolescent emergency detentions to the local psychiatric hospital by 45%. This saved the county enough money to invest in a new youth therapist position.

·      In Milwaukee County, making face-to-face contact with a patient within 24 hours of discharge from the hospital reduced readmissions from 20 to 11%.

(See related NIATx Promising Practices to Increase Continuation Between Levels of Care).

“The project has helped to reduce 30-day inpatient mental health readmissions across the state and has also served as a forum for Wisconsin counties to learn systems and process improvement techniques that can improve patient care and reduce costs,” says Molfenter. “We’re looking forward to another successful round in 2016.”

Read more Wisconsin Mental Health Collaborative success stories on the NIATx web site. 

  • All Stories