There’s no way around it – navigating the world of mental health treatment options can be confusing and stressful.
That’s why we’ve put together some tips to help you evaluate inpatient treatment facilities for yourself or a loved one with a mental illness, addiction or substance use issue or behavioral concerns.
Take a look at them and then call us at 713-275-5400
; we’re happy to help you on your recovery journey.
How long has the organization you’re considering been in business? The number of treatment facilities has been growing by leaps and bounds in recent years thanks to the influx of private equity firms eager to grow and then sell facilities at a profit.
This can mean lots of new staff or staff turnover, which may affect the quality of care. Our turnover rate for nurses and staff is far below the national average.
Menninger is proud of the fact that we’ve been treating people with serious mental illness since 1925. Very few treatment facilities can claim such a storied history.
Lots of treatment centers claim they have outcomes data
that indicates how effective their care is. Look closer, though, and you’ll see that what many tout as outcomes data is actually patient satisfaction data.
Yes, it’s great to have satisfied patients, but we believe that research-based, gold-standard, objective assessments and measures are what’s most indicative of the effectiveness of care.
That’s what we use throughout treatment and for a full year following discharge. Our outcomes data shows that on average our treatment works for our adult inpatients and that they maintain the gains made in the hospital for at least a year after they leave Menninger.
Is the treatment facility accredited by The Joint Commission? Menninger is. Is it designated as a Magnet hospital or a Pathway to Excellence® hospital? Menninger was the first psychiatric hospital in the U.S. to earn a Pathway to Excellence® designation by the American Nurse Credentialing Center.
We’re also proud to be an accredited charity of the Better Business Bureau of Houston.
How many patients are in the program you’re considering? What’s the patient-staff ratio? Day and evening staffing at Menninger is typically 1:5. Our staffing includes registered nurses 24/7. Check to see if a program offers that kind of medical and psychiatric expertise during the night; not all do.
Rankings & Awards
Rankings and awards – as long as they’re not of the “pay to play” variety – can be a significant quality indicator.
Menninger has been ranked as a top hospital for psychiatry by US News & World Report
since it began its Best Hospitals list in 1990. The list ranks the best hospitals nationally for difficult cases.
We’re also proud to be a certified Daring Way facility and a Top Workplace for medium-sized companies.
Ask about the psychiatrists who work at the treatment centers you’re considering. You’ll want to know about their training, education and experience, but here’s one more thing we think you should ask: Are they employed full-time?
At Menninger, our psychiatrists work full-time for our patients. They’re here every weekday, leading treatment teams, managing care, evaluating test results and helping patients make the most of their treatment experience.
At many other facilities, you’ll find that the psychiatrists only stop by one or two days a week to see patients. Does that meet your personal standard of care?
What level of education and training do the nurses have? We think it’s really important because nurses play a huge role in the life of patients.
It’s why we only hire registered nurses and why we encourage nurses to pursue additional certifications. In fact, 55 percent of our nurses have achieved advanced nursing credentials, and our patients benefit from that additional training and education every day.
Our mental health associates and our resident advisors typically have bachelor’s degrees in psychology or a related field.
If you or your loved one needs help with an addiction or substance use disorder, be sure to ask about the education and training of the addictions team.
At Menninger, our addictions professionals all have master’s degrees, but that’s not always the case at other treatment centers.
We insist on this level of education because it means they are fully grounded in the theoretical framework of addiction and addiction treatments and have the requisite patient care training. This helps them educate patients and family members and helps them collaborate with patient in a way that encourages and supports them on their chosen recovery pathway.
Ask if genetic testing is available. Genetic testing is an important tool in creating a personalized approach to psychiatric treatment. It can also be effective in helping identify the psychiatric medications most likely to be effective for an individual, saving much needed time and money.
To learn more about what to look for in a treatment facility, call us at 713-275-5400
. We’re happy to talk with you about Menninger and offer referrals as well.