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Kaiser Santa Clara Opens Behavioral Health Center

Kaiser Santa Clara Opens Behavioral Health Center

A new inpatient behavioral health facility has opened at Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara, and it is expected to help alleviate some of the demand for dwindling inpatient psychiatric care in Santa Clara County.

The artfully-landscaped new 20,000 square foot center at the western side of the campus is Kaiser Permanente Northern California’s first inpatient facility. It is licensed for 24 inpatient beds and also features a Crisis Stabilization Program for patients who don’t need to be admitted. Those patients will stay in the center 23 hours or less.

“Behavioral Health will provide round-the-clock observation and treatment to stabilize, counsel, and ultimately discharge patients to intensive outpatient behavioral health programs,” said Chris L Boyd, Senior Vice President and Area Manager of the Medical Center.

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The center will admit men and women, 18 and older and the average length of stay in the secure facility is expected to be 6 days. It will not provide service to patients needing emergency medical or emergency psychiatric care, said Debby Lucas, RN, a director of the center.

Over the years, the number of inpatient psychiatric beds in California dwindled by more than a third.

“The population has grown by 14%, and so has the need for inpatient care,” said Stuart Buttlaire, PhD, regional director of Kaiser Permanente Inpatient Psychiatric Services. “Having this center on the campus will provide better coordination and continuity of care.”

And all patient records will continue to be private and in one place, thanks to the secure databases of Kaiser Permanente’s advanced electronic medical record system called KPHealthConnect.

The one-story building is bathed in natural light and painted in soothing earth tones, a rarity in the mental health world.

“We wanted the center to emphasize wellness and recovery,” said Barry Hughes, PhD, the center’s director. “There’s a courtyard with a waterfall, a gym and not a lot of obstacles between patients and staff, so caregivers are more accessible.”

The Behavioral Health Center opened November 15.

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