Behavioral Health Collaboration Reduces Emergency Department Length of Stay by 64% 

Updated on June 18, 2024

A recent collaboration between Conduit Health Partners and Mercy Health — Springfield Regional Medical Center has significantly streamlined care transfers of behavioral health patients from the emergency department (ED) to appropriate care settings. Early data demonstrates strong efficacy of the collaboration, which resulted in a 64% reduction in ED length of stay, speeding time to treatment and improving overall staff and patient safety.

ED environments have experienced a high increase in patients presenting with behavioral health needs in recent years. This substantially increases health care costs and places a significant strain on EDs that are not staffed or resourced for the number of days of boarding that can be needed for acute behavioral health patients grappling with suicidal ideation.

“Like many EDs across the country, we faced significant challenges getting behavioral health patients transferred to the right setting and level of care in a timely manner. This slowed down the care process for acute behavioral health patients in need of more appropriate therapeutic environments,” said Frank Farkash, DNP, RN, ACNP-BC, with Bon Secours Mercy Health. “Using its nurse-first transfer services, the Conduit team helped us design workflows to improve and streamline the transfer process as well as empowered us with invaluable data-driven insights. Our team is very pleased with the expansion of the workflows to the other emergency departments in the market.”

Conduit’s nurse-driven model uses data to predict and manage patient volume to avoid delays in the delivery of care. This includes direct admissions, physician-to-physician consultations and emergency medical services (EMS) coordination.

The Conduit team worked collaboratively with Mercy Health — Springfield Regional Medical Center to revamp behavioral health patient transfer workflows from the ED. Starting with a bedside checklist, nurses are guided to generate an electronic bed request in EPIC that initiates Conduit’s involvement when needed. The new process also resulted in a 27% reduction in average phone calls from Conduit to the ED and a 50-second per-call reduction in talk time during the calls.

Based on the operational efficiencies and improvements in care, Bon Secours Mercy Health, the parent organization for Mercy Health – Springfield Regional Medical Center has expanded the workflow to Mercy Health – Dayton Springfield Emergency Department and Mercy Health – Urbana Hospital in 2024.

“The success of this initiative speaks for itself at a time when EDs are struggling to effectively manage growing numbers of behavioral health patients seeking services,” said Dominique Wells, COO, Conduit Health Partners. “Conduit’s partnership with Mercy Health — Springfield Regional Medical Center has delivered an improved care process that fosters communication and consistency through centralized information. Ultimately, this enhances overall ED safety and patient outcomes.”

About Conduit Health Partners 

Conduit Health Partners is a health care solutions company that connects patients and employees to the care they need, when they need it, through customized services in patient transfer, nurse triage, remote patient monitoring, including hospital at-home and patient outreach. With innovation at the forefront, Conduit is an operational partner that improves care and access for health systems, provider groups, health plans and employers via cost-effective, efficient solutions delivered by more than 200 nurses serving over 200 locations in 47 states. Conduit has improved access to care for more than 1.7 million people since its inception in 2017. Learn more at   

About Mercy Health – Springfield 

Mercy Health – Springfield is part of Bon Secours Mercy Health (BSMH) one of the 20 largest health systems in the United States and the fifth-largest Catholic health system in the country. The ministry’s quality, compassionate care is provided by more than 60,000 associates serving communities in Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Ohio, South Carolina and Virginia, as well as throughout Ireland. Bon Secours Mercy Health provides care for patients more than 11 million times annually through its network of more than 1,200 care sites, which includes 49 hospitals. In 2023, BSMH provided more than $600 million dollars in community investments across five states, ensuring that cost is not a barrier to health care for our patients in need. Locally, Mercy Health – Springfield, which includes Springfield Regional Medical Center and Urbana Hospital, has a mission to extend the compassionate ministry of Jesus by improving the health and well-being of our communities and bring good help to those in need, especially people who are poor, dying and underserved. Mercy Health – Springfield is a comprehensive, regional health care system, known for quality, innovation, compassionate service and a caring culture. With two hospitals and numerous physician offices and care locations, Mercy Health ensures easy access to safe, effective, timely and cost-efficient care for every stage of life through a network of hospitals, nursing homes and retirement communities as well as rehabilitation and outreach services. The mission of Bon Secours Mercy Health is to extend the compassionate ministry of Jesus by improving the health and well-being of its communities and bring good help to those in need, especially people who are poor, dying and underserved. Visit for additional information.  

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