Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health to provide enhanced rooms and equipment to Pediatric Behavioral Health patients
OKLAHOMA CITY — Pediatric behavioral health patients who arrive in emergency rooms are often placed in spaces with limited privacy, space and safety mechanisms as parents are unsure of where to take their children in a behavioral health crisis. Three emergency department rooms at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health have been renovated to create an environment that is not only safer for these patients and providers, but also conducive to healing.
Pediatric behavioral health patients often wait for long periods for placement in appropriate psychiatric care environments, and the lack of behavioral health appropriate spaces in general hospitals can impede recovery and extend hospital stays.
Features of the new rooms at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital include LED lighting around the room, a theme that is projected onto the walls, peaceful sounds, an interactive touchscreen media wall, ligature and tamper resistant fixtures to promote a safe environment for patients at risk for harm to themselves or others and a garage-style door which allows medical equipment to be concealed when not in use. The rooms are interactive and the patient can choose the theme and lighting and the games that they want to play on the media wall. These state-of-the-art rooms are enclosed and situated close to the nurse’s desk so that they can be closely monitored while offering enhanced privacy for the patients.
“There is a pediatric behavioral health crisis at the moment and parents can struggle with how to help their children and where to get help,” said Robyn Cowperthwaite, M.D., pediatric psychiatrist, OU Health Physicians. “The ambient rooms at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital are the first step in providing a safe place for children to de-escalate and start the healing process.”
Oklahoma Children’s Hospital is addressing the need for safe spaces for pediatric behavioral health patients in part utilizing funding from congressionally directed spending. Erin Walker, associate vice president of operations for Oklahoma Children’s Hospital said, “An award from Community Project Funding/Congressionally Directed Spending, projects funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Health Resources and Services Administration provided us with the means to create much needed safe spaces. We are incredibly grateful for the support we have received from our federal delegation in procuring the specialized equipment for these rooms.” The award will be used to provide private calming spaces that will promote faster de-escalation and a mental reset before directing children on to further treatment.
“Oklahoma Children’s Hospital will be one of only two hospitals in the country with the Philips Ambient Behavioral Health experience,” said Jon Hayes, president of Oklahoma Children’s Hospital. “We are the only hospital in the state providing this experience. This is a very positive step forward in how we treat children in Oklahoma and our goal is to expand the initiative further and provide a greater level of care.”