SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH
Columbia, South Carolina

OFFICE OF THE STATE COMMISSIONER OF MENTAL HEALTH DIRECTIVE NO. 688 - 86
(8-100)

TO:               All Organizational Components

SUBJECT:   Mandatory Pre-admission Screening at the Local Community Level

Purpose: The purpose of this directive is to mandate that all psychiatric admissions, voluntary or involuntary, be screened and evaluated at the local community level and utilization of local resources be considered prior to referral to State psychiatric institutions

Policy:  It shall be the policy of the South Carolina Department of Mental Health to emphasize the principle of evaluation, treatment and maintenance at the local community level and to encourage the State's mental health centers to utilize and develop an adequate array of appropriate local resources so as to decrease dependence upon and utilization of the State's psychiatric hospitals.

Procedures:

1. The State's seventeen (17) community mental health centers are hereby designated as Pre-Admission Screening Facilities.

2. It shall be the centers' responsibility to ensure pre-admission screening and evaluation capabilities at the local community level either directly by the center or by cooperative agreement with community hospital emergency rooms and local physician resources.

3. When non-center resources are involved-in the pre-admission screening process the center staff shall furnish facilitative and educational consultative services reference the commitment/admission process and other available local treatment options and alternatives in lieu of hospitalization at a State psychiatric hospital.

4. Each center shall submit to the State Commissioner, via the Deputy Commissioner of Community Mental Health Services, a plan of implementation specifying the local center's pre-admission screening services and other local non-center based resources arranged by contract or agreement with the center furnishing consultative assistance. A comprehensive plan is due within ninety (90) days of the date of this directive.

5. Centers with the appropriate local resources are encouraged to develop local hospitalization capability.

6. It is of utmost importance for all concerned to consider that in addition to the obviously necessary mental examinations, responsible pre-admission screening should also ensure adequate physical assessment so that causative and/or overriding medical distress and conditions will be detected and appropriate, responsible medical disposition accomplished; thusly, arrangements with local hospital emergency rooms and physicians are essential.

 

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April 10, 1986