Date of Award

Spring 2018

Degree Type

Doctoral Nursing Capstone Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Department

Nursing

Committee Chair

Dr. Anita Boykins

Committee Chair Department

Nursing

Committee Member 2

Dr. Carolyn Coleman

Committee Member 2 Department

Nursing

Committee Member 3

Dr. Abby McNeil

Committee Member 3 Department

Nursing

Abstract

When individuals with mental disorders present to the primary care setting for physical health problems, mental health concerns are sometimes overlooked; thereby, affecting access to behavioral health care. Integrating behavioral care in primary care settings is a potential solution to providing quality, accessible, and cost-effective care to individuals with mental disorders. The purpose of this project was to: a) assess current level of integration/collaboration in a primary care setting by administering an assessment tool to providers and staff and b) implement strategies with providers and staff input to integrate behavioral health care in a primary care setting. To determine the level of integration/collaboration, 14 providers and staff completed the assessment tool. The results of the integration/collaboration assessment tool revealed that the primary care clinic was operating at basic collaboration at a distance. Practice management strategies enhanced the level of communication and increased the level of integration to basic collaboration onsite. Strategies implemented to improve access to behavioral health care were developing a referral form, implementing warm handoffs, developing a network of behavioral health referrals, and expanding collaboration with a behavioral health clinic. Findings from the project determined that the assessment tool was effective in improving practice management strategies to integrate behavioral health in a primary care setting.

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