“There was a time when we didn’t have a choice but to put a hold on new admissions because of an inefficient amount of prescriber time. Iris was able to get us providers to help us continue business as usual. Now, we can look at how we’re supposed to serve and move forward. Iris filled voids to help us get back to business as usual, and that was a turning point. We have a stable team, and there’s consistency across the division that we didn’t have before.”
Executive Director, Chesapeake Integrated Behavioral Health Care
Since 2019, Iris Telehealth has provided behavioral health care services to Chesapeake Integrated Behavioral Health Care by connecting them with a team of Iris clinicians to facilitate patient care and a medical director to help transform daily operations and workflows.
Chesapeake Integrated Behavioral Health Care (CIBH) is located in Chesapeake, Virginia, and serves patients across the lifespan – including infants, children, and adults facing anxiety, depression, substance use, and serious mental illness. Their mission is to help those in their community affected by mental health conditions and facilitate opportunities for recovery, resilience, and wellness.
The increased demand for behavioral health care and the ongoing provider shortage makes meeting a high influx of patient needs difficult. In recent years, CIBH experienced vast growth, leading to challenges like local provider recruitment and retention, timely note-taking, and varying prescribing philosophies among providers. Additionally, CIBH was without a medical director and the organization needed guidance and leadership to help bring cohesion across teams. On the prescriber side, hiring was challenging and they didn’t have enough providers on staff to see all the patients coming into their center.
CIBH serves as a safety net for their community, and helping patients other organizations are unable to see is a core part of their mission. That’s why finding a solution that would align their organization with a qualified medical director, connect their local community with exceptional mental health professionals, and solidify processes that would improve their workflows was an essential next step for CIBH.
Iris Telehealth takes a rigorous approach to provider matching that helps ensure organizations are matched with top-quality providers with a track record of providing exceptional care, and CIBH was no exception. The Iris team sat down with CIBH to understand their needs and prescribing philosophies to help them find a team of person-centered providers who align with their organization’s mission.
Iris matched CIBH with Dr. Alfredo Soto, who stepped in as their new medical director, along with a team of dedicated behavioral health clinicians who are well-versed in treating serious mental health conditions and share cohesive prescribing philosophies. Since his time at CIBH, Dr. Soto has guided their approach to behavioral health care through his vision of what a community mental health center should be: a place where individuals with severe mental illness can go when no one else can help them.
As medical director, Dr. Soto has taken on quality improvement initiatives, template reformation, and team integration. After the COVID-19 pandemic, CIBH had become more siloed. To help create more camaraderie among the prescribers, staff, and nursing teams, Dr. Soto holds weekly meetings where everyone comes together to talk about fun things they’ve been doing and get to know each other better.
Additionally, regular and timely note-taking had become challenging for some CIBH providers to maintain. To help the providers and make the process more efficient, Dr. Soto reconstructed the note-taking templates by making them more simple and user-friendly while keeping the required parts of their notes in the charts. Dr. Soto’s approach to concurrent documentation has helped the team complete their notes on time.
Since taking the medical director role, Dr. Soto has helped operations at CIBH run more smoothly. Ed Gonzalez, Executive Director of CIBH, spoke about his trust in Dr. Soto, noting, “We value Dr. Soto’s opinion and what he brings to the table. The ability to trust someone makes my job easier, and I don’t have to worry about certain things because I trust his judgment. I trust him to make decisions, and I don’t have to be there.”
Additionally, because of Dr. Soto’s approach to integration, there’s more awareness of how each team functions within the organization, and this initiative has improved workflows. Now, prescribers can gather more information on clients more quickly and ultimately improve patient care and create better follow-through. Overall, CIBH has benefited from greater coordination between case management, therapy, and prescriber teams.
Reflecting on CIBHs partnership with Iris, Ed Gonzalez, Executive Director, said, “If you need someone, go to Iris. I have nothing but good things to say. Bottom line is, I feel comfortable that if there’s a need, Iris is available. Plain and simple. Iris is the group that takes care of us, and to me, that’s what a great partnership is all about.”
Looking forward with Iris Telehealth
In the future, CIBH is hoping to develop a MAT mobile unit for their community. To help with this goal, CIBH would expand remote provider time into the community.
Iris Telehealth is proud to partner with organizations like CIBH to help more people get the mental health care they need. To learn more about Chesapeake Integrated Behavioral Health’s services, you can visit their website here.
If you’d like to learn more about how Iris can help you find the perfect provider match, contact us today for more information!