Des Moines, IA.

The State of Iowa is experiencing a severe shortage of available inpatient psychiatric beds across the state. As reported in the Iowa Gazette many times those seeking a bed for behavioral health purposes may need to call up to 31 facilities to locate one which could suitably accept a client in need. Patients have waited eight to ten hours for a bed vacancy only to be told there were no beds available. Many times the sheriff must drive the person to a hospital they’ve located in the hopes the vacancy isn’t filled by the time the person arrives. The Iowa legislature responded to the need with house bill 449 requiring DHS to implement a psychiatric hospital bed reservation system for the purpose of crisis stabilization for both children and adults, enabling timely mental health and substance abuse services through the use of an electronic bed reservation system.

Five Points responded to the Department’s request with CareMatch tailored specifically for the behavioral health community. The system works by allowing those bed reservation services to quickly review available service providers across the network in order to secure open, appropriately matched beds and inpatient psychiatric services. Community care providers utilize the system to update their availability to those assisting clients in need of services, ensuring acceptance of those clients best served by their specialized services. It’s a win-win situation for all involved by eliminating the inherent pitfalls and inefficiencies of the current manual bed search process and reservation workflows.

“There was very little customization required for Iowa’s site when we started with CareMatch” noted Robert Reed, VP of Development at Five Points. “We were able to complete development, quality assurance, training and implementation all within three weeks for a production launch.” DHS representatives say they are keeping things simple at the outset, currently working closely with the hospital community in Iowa to phase in and activate users from all inpatient psychiatric facilities as well as a number of different interested parties across the state.