News & Events

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As experts in the field of behavioral health, we take pride in staying abreast of the latest developments in our industry, as well as participating in various conferences and events.

Calendar of events

You can find ConnectionsHS Health Strategies across the nation. Whether one of our staff members is speaking or making a presentation – or we are simply seeking to enhance our knowledge of behavioral health systems – we participate in several conferences and summits throughout the year.

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Articles & Press Releases

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Using Lean to Rapidly and Sustainably Transform a Behavioral Health Crisis Program: Impact on Throughput and Safety

Background: Lean has been increasingly applied in health care to reduce waste and improve quality, particularly in fast-paced and high-acuity clinical settings such as emergency departments. In addition, Lean’s focus on engagement of frontline staff in problem solving can be a catalyst for organizational change. In this study, ConnectionsAZ demonstrates how they applied Lean principles […]

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The Tucson Mental Health Support Team (MHST) Model: A prevention focused approach to crisis and public safety

ABSTRACT While Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) programs provide law enforcement with tools to respond to mental health crisis, they are focused on the emergency response. The Tucson Mental Health Support Team (MHST) model was developed following a mass casualty event in order to prevent crises and associated threats to public safety via earlier intervention. Through […]

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The Banner Psychiatric Center: A Model for Providing Psychiatric Crisis Care to the Community while Easing Behavioral Health Holds in Emergency Departments

Abstract Banner Health in the Phoenix, AZ, metropolitan area provides individuals in a behavioral health crisis with an alternative to presenting to an Emergency Department (ED). By implementing a process to quickly move patients out of our ED, our health care system has been able to greatly reduce the hold time for behavioral health patients. […]

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Provider-Payer Partnerships as an Engine for Continuous Quality Improvement

Those accountable for a system of care have an interest in managing services to maximize the potential for wellness in community settings. Promoting care in the least-restrictive environment possible is more recovery oriented than providing avoidable inpatient care, and it has been enshrined into law by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision. Community-based care is […]

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Alternatives to the Emergency Department

TO THE EDITOR: The November Taking Issue column by Marvin S. Swartz (1) tackles the complex problem of emergency department (ED) boarding and its relationship to inpatient psychiatric bed capacity. As an organization specializing in facility-based crisis services, we are glad to see this issue receive attention and have the following comments: Although the Smith […]

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A Preventive Approach to Crisis and Public Safety

Effective collaboration between law enforcement and crisis systems can improve outcomes for people with mental illness and for public safety. For example, theMemphisModel of crisis intervention training (CIT) enhances police officers’ skills for safely deescalating crises. However, such programs focus on emergency response. After the 2011 shooting of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, the Tucson law […]

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CRISES: A Framework for Developing Performance Measures for Behavioral Health Crisis and Psychiatric Emergency Programs.

Abstract Crisis and emergency psychiatric services are an integral part of the healthcare system, yet there are no standardized measures for programs providing these services. We developed the Crisis Reliability Indicators Supporting Emergency Services (CRISES) framework to create measures that inform internal performance improvement initiatives and allow comparison across programs. The framework consists of two […]

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