The Role Of The Psychiatric-Mental Health Advanced Practice Nurse In The Behavioral Intervention Team (bit) Model Of Care

Jasper Tolarba, Yale University

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The Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) is an innovative approach in psychiatric services designed as an integrated multidisciplinary model of care compared to the traditional consultation-liaison (CL) psychiatry model. Its implementation on general medical floors of a tertiary general hospital has yielded positive results, such as the length of stay decreasing, staff satisfaction increasing, and economic benefits for the institution (Desan, et al., 2011). This proactive approach in providing psychiatric services to patients has led to favorable outcomes and has fueled replication of the BIT program in other hospitals throughout the country. This paper describes the overall context and structure of the BIT and the members' roles and responsibilities; describes the psychiatric-mental health Advanced Practice Nurse's (APN's) clinical and operational responsibilities; describes the collaborative relationships among stakeholders involved in the care of the client; and discusses the unique multifocal role of the APN as clinician, educator, coordinator, and researcher. Finally, this paper highlights how the APN contributes to positive patient care outcomes and succesful achievement of individual and organizational goals.