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The Behavioral Emergency Response Team (the BERT) begins phase two with positive reviews

10/17/23 05:30:pm

Initiated to create a structured plan for safely managing a behavioral crisis and reducing risk of harm, the Behavioral Emergency Response Team or BERT is now in phase two of its roll out.

Introductory trainings began in July for those interested in joining. Phase two trainings began this month in Brown Deer and will continue in West Allis followed by Oconomowoc. The BERT will be launched within all levels of care.

The focus of phase two training consists of problem solving and hands-on training.

“We’re implementing trauma-informed care information and doing role plays,” says Pat Lewis, director of Patient Safety. “Members of the BERT are watching videos of actual incidents and learning how to debrief.”

“Working as a team is highly emphasized during BERT trainings,” says Sharneice Synder, executive director of operational integration. “We focus on team do’s and don’ts. The beauty about the teams developed at each campus is the diverse mix of disciplines, which include clinical services leaders, therapists, psychologists, experiential therapists, nurses, mental health technicians, patient safety leaders, milieu specialists, providers, and residential and operational leaders. Everyone involved is motivated and committed to improving safety during a crisis situation.”

Overall, Pat and Sharneice appreciate the level of engagement and commitment to the “Safety Matters” initiative, saying they’ve received a lot of positive feedback since the BERT’s inception.

“I’m hearing, ‘This is exactly what we need,’” he says. “They’re learning the importance of structuring and organizing a code – who is responsible for what during an incident – and how to debrief afterwards so that everyone can learn from it. If we hadn’t implemented the BERT training, we wouldn’t have known some of our staff have already been on crisis teams within the community. They bring an abundance of experience and knowledge.”

Here’s what other BERT team members are saying:

“What I’m most excited about is seeing how this team will be able to make a difference for patient care and staff satisfaction.” ~Jennifer Yukawa, PsyD, inpatient psychology specialist

“I view this type of training and support to be vital for our staff and patients. The training provides a structure and plan for being more proactive in our approach which will directly impact our patients in a positive way.” ~Michelle Robertson, MBA, experiential therapy supervisor, Brown Deer

“I joined the BERT team because I want to enhance my skills and offer better support to our patients and teammates during a crisis situation.” ~Deborah Entzminger, patient safety milieu specialist

If you’re interested in being a member of the BERT team, please communicate to your manager who will then forward your name to Pat.

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