Pediatric Psychiatry Network Launches Statewide

Critical Decision Support Now Available To Ohio Physicians

Friday, October 08, 2010

To address a shortage of child and adolescent psychiatrists in Ohio, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, the Ohio Department of Mental Health, and provider organizations across the state have launched Pediatric Psychiatry Network, an easy-access consultation and support service for primary care physicians.

The purpose of the network is to help primary care doctors deliver and coordinate care for Ohio’s youth by providing timely and direct answers to physician questions regarding mental health diagnosis and treatment.

“Ohio youth with psychiatric disorders and their primary care physicians have had critical problems gaining access to needed care,” said Marion E. Sherman, MD, medical director at the Ohio Department of Mental Health. “This network provides rapid access to professional resources for consultations.”

Michael Sorter, MD, director of Psychiatry at Cincinnati Children’s said the Pediatric Psychiatry Network is a big step forward in improving the mental health care of children and adolescents. “Primary care clinicians are an important part of detecting, diagnosing and treating mental health probs. This network will allow them to do this more effectively and get the consultations that they need,” he said.

The network provides primary care physicians the ability to access child and adolescent psychiatry decision support, education and triage services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Future services are planned to include consultations using video, e-visits and telemedicine.

The network of providers is linked through technology and can be accessed through a common call-center number and website. The technology infrastructure and clinical protocols were developed using Ohio’s Transformation State Incentive Grant (TSIG) funds from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Network providers taking calls include Akron Children’s Hospital, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, The Ohio State University, Toledo Children’s Hospital and University of Toledo. Additional network development support was received through Wright State University, Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals/Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.

To request a consultation, Ohio primary care physicians may call the toll-free number or complete a request form at www.pedpsychiatry.org.

Family members needing access to psychiatry support should contact their primary care physicians.

About Cincinnati Children’s

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is one of just eight children’s hospitals named to the Honor Roll in U.S. News and World Report’s 2010-11 Best Children’s Hospitals. It is ranked #1 for digestive disorders and highly ranked for its expertise in pulmonology, cancer, neonatology, heart and heart surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, diabetes and endocrinology, orthopedics, kidney disorders and urology. Cincinnati Children’s is one of the top two recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health. It is internationally recognized for quality and transformation work by Leapfrog, The Joint Commission, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and by hospitals and health organizations it works with globally. Additional information can be found at www.cincinnatichildrens.org.

Contact Information

Danielle Lewis, 513-636-9473, danielle.lewis1@cchmc.org