Integrating Behavioral Health into Retail Clinics

January 2015, Vol 3, No 1 - Inside Patient Care
Joe Pyle, MA

"This kiosk begins to address the existing gap in prevention services, and calls attention to the need for the emerging retail clinic market to include behavioral health services.”

According to recent reports, 26% of adults 18 years and older are living with a diagnosable mental health condition in any given year1 and more than 70% of those individuals do not seek treatment.2

Researchers suggest that patients may not seek treatment because of the associated stigma, lack of behavioral health literacy, and a shortage of community-based behavioral health providers.3 Early intervention is desperately needed because 25% of all years of life are lost as a result of disability and premature mortality related to behavioral health disorders.4 At the same time, retail clinics are becoming a major player in today’s healthcare system, with more than 2800 clinics expected to be in operation across the country by 2015.5 However, this emerging market for healthcare does not traditionally offer comprehensive screening and referral services for behavioral health disorders. The Scattergood Foundation saw this as a significant gap in the system, and we decided to focus our 3rd Annual Design Challenge on filling this gap.

When the Scattergood Foundation partnered with The Family Practice & Counseling Network and their Qcare Clinic, we did not know what integrated behavioral healthcare would look like in a retail clinic, so we let the community decide. The foundation made a call for ideas, crowd-sourced the ideas that were submitted, and with the help of online voting and expert review, a winner was selected.

The Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services partnered with Screening for Mental Health, Inc, to submit the winning idea, which was a behavioral health wellness kiosk. Through funds raised using Indiegogo and with a small grant from the foundation, all of the partners worked to implement the behavioral health wellness kiosk at the Qcare Clinic located in the Fox Street ShopRite in north Philadelphia.

The retail clinic is now equipped with an iPad containing a comprehensive and evidence-based screening tool for several mental health conditions, including depression, generalized anxiety disorder, alcohol misuse, and several other disorders using the most up-to-date resources available in the Philadelphia area. Through a series of short, anonymous questions, Qcare clients and ShopRite customers are now able to take a screening test and be connected to local neighborhood resources.

Although far from perfect, this kiosk begins to address the existing gap in prevention services, and calls attention to the need for the emerging retail clinic market to include behavioral health services.




References

  1. Kessler RC, Berglund P, Demler O, et al. Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2005;62:593-768.
  2. Henderson C, Evans-Lacko S, Thornicroft G. Mental illness stigma, help seeking, and public health programs. Am J Public Health. 2013;103:777-780.
  3. Corrigan PW. How stigma interferes with mental health care. Am Psychol. 2004;59:614-625.
  4. World Health Organization. The world health report 2004 - changing history. www.who.int/whr/2004/en/. Accessed October 14, 2014.
  5. Nalle A, Boston D. Retail clinic counts will double between 2012 and 2015 and save $800 million dollars per year. www.accenture.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/PDF/Accenture-Retail-Medical-Clinics-From-Foe-to-Friend.pdf. Accessed October 14, 2014.

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