Integrating Primary Care and Behavioral Health at Smiley’s Family Medicine Clinic


My name is Dana Brandenburg and I am a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Behavioral Health Faculty at Smiley’s Family Medicine Clinic. We are a family medicine residency program and primary care clinic in Minneapolis. The behavioral health providers are involved in most of the initiatives that are here at clinic. I think one way that Health Care Homes has helped us in terms of integrative behavioral health is to bring that population level lens to our work here as well. One of the advantages of integrated behavioral health is that we are able to maybe reach more people than if I was sitting in a private practice. There is a big team of people here available to work with the patients. And so we’re always trying to figure out the best way to make those transitions go smoothly and for all of those team members to be on the same page with one another. The other piece with our team work is we’re trying to provide great care for our patients but we also are here to support one another and I think that’s a key piece too. So I know there was a patient where they were coming into clinic to follow up for a mental health admission for suicidal ideation. And they were back in here, to see their their doc here and were now hearing voices and behavioral health was able to go in and kind of assess some of the auditory hallucinations assess for safety and help the patient come up with a plan. And so the patient got they needed that day too but the physician involved in the encounter also said that his score if he would have taken a GAD7 that day that his anxiety score probably went down by five to ten points just because he had another team member there to try to sort through what was happening that day and what might be the best next steps. So I think that’s a key piece too, is that we’re here and available just to talk through things with one another. And when you can share some of the stress and challenge it helps everyone to feel better and more able to come back the next day and do it all over again. [Music]

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