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Assessing the Implementation of a Behavioral Health Integration Model in a Rural, Nurse-Led Primary Care Clinic: Insights Gained and Recommendations for the Future

Shafar, Bailey
The implementation of Behavioral Health Integration (BHI) programs in primary care settings poses a significant challenge for healthcare centers, particularly those located in rural areas. Minimal resources, limited support, and obscure definitions and guidelines have slowed the growth of integrated care models, reducing the potential for highly coordinated care which benefits patients most. Previous research has often lacked investigation into implementation at individual clinics, specifically those that are nurse-led, and the obstacles they have had to overcome to be successful. By analyzing published literature in conjunction with the firsthand experiences of staff at a rural, nurse-led primary care clinic in Laramie, Wyoming, I have generated a comprehensive handout that can be distributed to and used by healthcare professionals interested in implementing their own BHI programs. The handout provides guidance on the implementation process by outlining potential barriers as well as possible solutions, making integration efficient and achievable. The compilation of my findings into a convenient, understandable toolkit allows for the growth of integrated care, aiding healthcare workers seeking to prevent, diagnose, and treat behavioral health disorders to promote positive patient outcomes.
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University of Wyoming. Libraries