Mille Lacs Health System’s Senior Care Unit ranked eighth in the nation out of over 1,559 in High Performing In-Patient Psychiatric Facilities. The ranking came from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Service, a government entity which licenses such facilities. Required Quality Data was submitted to this entity, and all facilities – large or small – must report measures of quality if they’re seeking government and private insurance payments for their billable services.
Some of the quality measures the Senior Care Unit had to report were those relating to: dignity, communication, medications, and continuity of care.
The Senior Care Unit is located in a wing of the Long Term Care building, located on the Onamia Campus. It is a special in-patient Geriatric Psychiatry Unit at MLHS, providing short-term diagnosis and treatment for aging individuals with a number of psycho/social issues. Some of these include: depression, aggressive behavior, anxiety, the need for medication evaluation, and social withdrawal.
“This is really an important and impressive ranking for us,” says Jane Larson, R.N. and director of the unit. “We are the only facility from the state of Minnesota making that measure. It tells us that the government feels we are doing a great job here, and that we can substantiate that.”
There are only seven other similar “Geri-Psych” units in the state of Minnesota, and none of them ranked. These “Geri-Psych” units were measured with all other types of In-Patient Psychiatric facilities across the nation, and there were no other In-Patient Psychiatric Facilities in Minnesota that ranked at all.
Larson goes on to say that the geriatric psych patient sector of the population tends to be forgotten, and is often left on the margins of mental health. “I’m proud,” she says, “that this ranking acknowledges the hard work my staff does here to make sure people and families who come to us requiring help are treated with dignity and their needs are met.”