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Psychological Medicine

The Psychological Medicine Section at Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH) provides an innovative approach to the treatment of behavioral conditions that may occur in patients with medical and surgical problems. Our Psychiatry and Behavioral Health experts include psychiatrists, psychologists, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, and social workers. Research has shown that treating both the physical and mental aspects of an illness results in better outcomes for patients. Psychological Medicine plays a critical role in the care of patients across the healthcare system, whether in the inpatient setting or integrated into outpatient medical and surgical practices. 

Inpatient Consultation

Some hospital patients may develop psychiatric symptoms that can interfere with their medical care and safety. Conversely, patients with psychiatric disorders can develop medical issues that require hospitalization. Our consult psychiatry team focuses on treating psychiatric and behavioral conditions that may occur in patients with medical and surgical problems. 

Traditionally, inpatient medical and surgical teams call and request a psychiatric consultation only after encountering urgent psychiatric barriers in the care of their patients. In an innovative shift, we developed the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT), a program to screen patients for behavioral issues when they are admitted to the medical units at YNHH. This proactive model sends different levels of behavioral health specialists according to the psychiatric needs of medical patients. The interprofessional team consists of psychiatrists, advanced practice providers, clinical nurse specialists, and psychiatric social workers. This innovative model has led to improvements in patient care and a reduction in hospital length of stay. While initially developed at YNHH, this model has now been replicated nationally and internationally. 

Outpatient Integrated Care

Integrating psychiatric and behavioral care with general practice improves our patients' physical health and psychological wellbeing. Understanding and addressing the psychological stresses that can accompany a new diagnosis or worsening of an existing problem is essential to ensure the best possible outcome for patients. The psychiatry and behavioral health experts that work side-by-side with medical and surgical teams in outpatient clinics provide medication management, psychotherapy, caregiver support, and education. We utilize a variety of treatment modalities, including developing coping skills, mindfulness, hypnotherapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy, among others. We currently offer these integrated services across 14 medical and surgical clinics at YNHH.  

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