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Franciscan Health closes Inpatient psychiatric unit after 142 years

Franciscan Health Lafayette teams up with community partners after closing its inpatient psychiatric unit to help fill the void.

Posted: Dec 12, 2018 2:21 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The inpatient psychiatric Unit at Franciscan Health Lafayette Central closed. It's been a part of the hospital for 142 years, but the closure was always scheduled to happen.

The new unit at Franciscan Health Lafayette East was scheduled to open in December, but CEO Terry Wilson said there was a set back. The biggest challenge and the thing that changed was medical coverage by psychiatrists.

A big chunk of this medical coverage was suppose to come from a company that would provide consultations off-site. Wilson said at the last minute, this company cancelled the contract. So now, he is looking into two other firms to fill this void and provide this service.

"And have a long term contract, not just something short term that's sort of pasted together," Wilson said.  "We want to do this long term and so we're trying to put that agreement together as we speak.

This year, Wilson said the inpatient unit helped serve about four patients a day. The unit allowed for patient evaluations, stabilizing, treatment planning and hospitalizing.

Even though the unit is closed, Franciscan teamed up with two community partners to help patients. About 4 patients a day were helped at the central campus unit. If people do need help, they are being sent to River Bend Hospital and Sycamore Springs in Lafayette.

"If people are in doubt, they can always come to our emergency room," said Wilson. "And we'll make proper disposition and I know the same is the case at IU health."

At the new facility, patients will be evaluated, checked to make sure they are stable and safe and receive treatment planning. Wilson says the goal is to have a patient in the new for about 15 hours instead of multiple days.

Wilson said this will be less costly for all involved and the patient will still get the right treatment at the right amount of time.

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