Western Maryland Health System opens behavioral health emergency department

CUMBERLAND, Md. — Western Maryland Health System has opened a behavioral health emergency department.

The new department features eight patient rooms as well as specialized equipment and an open nursing station allowing for therapeutic interaction with staff. Patients of all ages, including adolescents, will be eligible for admittance, and a protected entry system will separate the facility from the general emergency department, according to a WMHS news release.

WMHS built the addition to provide a secure environment for care and treatment of patients with behavioral health emergencies, including opioid abuse and addiction issues. In 2017, 413 overdose patients, including 266 opioid-related incidents, were treated at the WMHS emergency department. In 2018, those numbers decreased to 347 and 224 respectively.

“Opening the Behavioral Health Emergency Department is the next component in the collaborative effort that Western Maryland Health System has spearheaded to provide cutting edge treatment for behavioral health patients,” Barry Ronan, WMHS president and CEO, said in the release.