What is the Bridge Clinic?
The Bridge Clinic at Shore Behavioral Health at University of Maryland Community Medical Group at Dorchester is a short term program (up to 3 months) with a goal to “bridge the gap” until a patient is able to establish permanent mental health care with a community provider.
It was established due to an increased number of patients returning to the Emergency room after having been recently hospitalized in our inpatient behavioral health unit and also for those individuals who use the Emergency room routinely due to lack of a timely appointment with their mental health provider.
We are located at 2 Aurora Street, Cambridge Maryland, across the driveway from Dorchester General Hospital. We can be contacted at 410-228-5511 extension 2140. We are open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 8am-4:30pm and Tuesdays 9am-8pm.
Who is eligible for the Bridge Clinic?
Currently, patients eligible for this program are individuals being discharged from Shore Behavioral health impatient unit who do not have mental health counseling and psychiatry resources or are delayed in getting a first appointment.
The Bridge Clinic may also be utilized by individuals who are attending or are soon to be discharged from Mental Health IOP.
Patients who present at the Emergency room but do not reach the level of care for inpatient behavioral health can be referred by the Behavioral Health Response Team (BHRT).
We also have a walk in clinic which can be used on an emergent basis by any patient referred from a University of Maryland Shore Health facility.
Other services offered at the Bridge Clinic
OPEN GROUP (support and education) at least once weekly for discharged patients, one family member and for anyone in the community; Tuesdays 6pm-730pm at hospital in IOP room. This has been a great success!
The Walk-in clinic is open every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10am-12noon. This Walk-in clinic can be utilized by other University of Maryland Shore Medical services when a patient needs an assessment, medication evaluation or mental health counseling.
We strive to contact patients after discharge to ensure they remember appointments and understand their discharge plan; brainstorm solutions and offer face-to-face counseling if concerns needs more than a phone call.
We provide counseling for individuals in conjunction with injections given by nurse in Bridge Clinic when the doctor decides injections are needed given their mental health or substance use issues.
We do a Bridge Clinic Information group every Wednesday afternoon on the Shore Behavioral Health inpatient unit – field questions and talk about Bridge Clinic being one of several resources after discharge.
We collaborate with Shore Behavioral Health social workers, community mental health providers and other resources in the community to foster patient’s having continuity of care and safety.
What makes us unique is our flexibility and ability to get patients seen by a counselor within a day and psychiatrist within a few days thereafter. We also work hard to insure patients stay compliant with their prescribed medications and get appropriate referrals in the community to reduce the likelihood of returning to the emergency room.
As you see in the graph below, we started our program in January 2016 and have increased number of patient visits from 10 in January to 71 in November.
If you are interested in attending our open support and education group on Tuesday evenings or have any questions about the Bridge Clinic, please contact us a call at 410-228-5511 extension 2140.