246-341-1142  <<  246-341-1144 >>   246-341-1146

WAC 246-341-1144

Mental health inpatient servicesTriageAgency facility and administrative requirements.

Under chapter 71.05 RCW, the department certifies facilities to provide triage services that assess and stabilize an individual, or determine the need for involuntary commitment. The department does not require a facility licensed by the department that was providing assessment and stabilization services under chapter 71.05 RCW as of April, 22, 2011, to relicense or recertify under these rules. A request for an exemption must be made to the department.
(1) In addition to meeting the agency licensure, certification, administration, personnel, and clinical requirements in WAC 246-341-0100 through 246-341-0650 and the applicable inpatient services requirements in WAC 246-341-1118 through 246-341-1132, an agency certified to provide triage services must:
(a) Be licensed by the department as a residential treatment facility;
(b) Meet the requirements for voluntary admissions under this chapter;
(c) Meet the requirements for involuntary admissions under this chapter if it elects to operate and be certified as a triage involuntary placement facility;
(d) Ensure that the facility and its services are accessible to individuals with disabilities, as required by applicable federal, state, and local laws; and
(e) Admit only individuals who are eighteen years of age and older.
(2) If a triage facility is collocated in another facility, there must be a physical separation. Physically separate means the triage facility is located in an area with no resident foot traffic between the triage facility and other areas of the building, except in case of emergencies.
(3) A triage facility must have, at a minimum, all of the following:
(a) A designated person in charge of administration of the triage unit.
(b) A mental health professional (MHP) on-site twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
(c) A written program description that includes:
(i) Program goals;
(ii) Identification of service categories to be provided;
(iii) Length of stay criteria;
(iv) Identification of the ages or range of ages of individual populations to be served;
(v) A statement that only an individual eighteen years of age or older may be admitted to the triage facility; and
(vi) Any limitation or inability to serve or provide program services to an individual who:
(A) Requires acute medical services;
(B) Has limited mobility;
(C) Has limited physical capacity for self-care; or
(D) Exhibits physical violence.
(d) Written procedures to ensure a secure and safe environment. Examples of these procedures are:
(i) Visual monitoring of the population environment by line of sight, mirrors or electronic means;
(ii) Having sufficient staff available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to meet the behavioral management needs of the current facility population; and
(iii) Having staff trained in facility security and behavioral management techniques.
(e) Written procedures to ensure that an individual is examined by an MHP within three hours of the individual's arrival at the facility.
(f) Written procedures to ensure that a designated crisis responder (DCR) evaluates a voluntarily admitted individual for involuntary commitment when the individual's behavior warrants an evaluation.
(g) A written declaration of intent and written procedures that are in accordance with WAC 246-337-110 if the triage facility declares intent to provide either seclusion or restraint or both.
(i) The seclusion or restraint may only be used to the extent necessary for the safety of the individual or others and only used when all less restrictive measures have failed; and
(ii) The facility must clearly document in the clinical record:
(A) The threat of imminent danger;
(B) All less restrictive measures that were tried and found to be ineffective; and
(C) A summary of each seclusion and restraint event, including a debriefing with staff members and the individual regarding how to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents in the future.
(h) Written procedures to facilitate appropriate and safe transportation, if necessary, for an individual who is:
(i) Not being held for either police custody, or police pick up, or both;
(ii) Denied admission to the triage facility; or
(iii) Detained for transfer to a certified evaluation and treatment facility.
(4) The triage facility must document that each staff member has the following:
(a) Adequate training regarding the least restrictive alternative options available in the community and how to access them;
(b) Training that meets the requirements of RCW 71.05.720 on safety and violence;
(c) Training that meets the requirements of RCW 71.05.705 if the triage facility is performing outreach services;
(d) Adequate training regarding methods of health care as defined in WAC 246-337-005(19); and
(e) Adequate training regarding the proper and safe use of seclusion and restraint procedures if the triage facility employs these techniques.
(5) The triage facility must ensure:
(a) Each clinical supervisor and each clinical staff member meets the qualifications of a mental health professional;
(b) A clinical staff member who does not meet the qualifications for an MHP is supervised by an MHP if the staff member provides direct services to individuals; and
(c) A contracted staff member who provides direct services to individuals meets the requirements of this section.
[Statutory Authority: 2018 c 201 and 2018 c 291. WSR 19-09-062, § 246-341-1144, filed 4/16/19, effective 5/17/19.]
Site Contents
Selected content listed in alphabetical order under each group