Partnership to use technology to provide mental health referrals

Partnership to use technology to provide mental health referrals

The New Mexico Department of Human Services’ Behavioral Health Services Division recently partnered with OpenBeds, a technology platform, to offer behavioral health digital referrals.

“It holds the promise of allowing providers, families, and patients to focus on the treatment needs of an episode of care rather than the logistical processes,” Neal A. Bowen, Behavioral Health Services division director, said.

The New Mexico Behavioral Health Referral Network will provide referrals and lists of facilities accepting patients. Some organizations are both referring and receiving patients.

The service lists 99 mental health and substance use disorder services. Of these, 28 are referring organizations, 51 are statewide treatment organizations, and 69 are treatment organizations.

Using the network, New Mexicans can search for treatment services and providers by zip code and distance; assess resources and educational materials; take a self-assessment to determine the most type and level of treatment needed; and communicate with treatment providers.

The network will capture referral and treatment information through its digital referral form. The Behavioral Health Services Division will use this information to connect patients to social services, identify gaps in care, identify best practices, pool resources, and make allocation decisions.

The network is in its first stage. The Behavioral Health Services Division plans eventually include substance use and mental health services.