That need is especially serious in Eastern Washington. Only three facilities east of the Cascades provide inpatient psychiatric beds. Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center is the largest, with 70 beds available. But the hospital is the only provider in Spokane County and the five counties bordering it. “They’re pretty much full all the time,” said Tamara Sheehan, Sacred Heart’s clinical director of psychiatry. If someone comes to the emergency room with a psychiatric issue, they’ll be treated there until a bed on the psychiatric unit opens up. The emergency room has seven designated psychiatric beds, but other beds are often full of psychiatric patients as well, emergency department director Alex Richards said. At 8 a.m. on a Tuesday in November, the Sacred Heart emergency room was treating 20 psychiatric patients.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/jan/03/spokanes-new-psychiatric-hospital-will-help-meet-s/
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