Job Description

Location: Steward Health Care
Posted Date: 5/20/2022


(Briefly describe the overall purpose of this position - Why does it exist and how does it contribute to the overall organization?)

The Access Center Clinician is responsible for receiving calls from the community regarding information inquiries, requests for crisis services, and referrals for admission to the inpatient units of the Department of Behavioral Health. He or she provides accurate information regarding psychiatric services available both in the hospital and community. The Access Center Clinician provides telephone assessment of patients calling in crisis and triages them to the appropriate site for further evaluation or follow-up. He or she receives referrals for direct inpatient admission from other facilities and assumes responsibility for coordinating and completing each step of the admission process.

The Access Center Clinician also provides prompt evaluation and disposition of patients presenting with psychiatric and substance abuse issues in the Emergency Department. He or she also assists in the coordination and or/assessment of psychiatric and/or substance abuse patient care to the hospital's medical units.


(Use bullets for specific responsibilities)

  • Triage, Evaluation, Referral, and Consultation.
  • Demonstrates skill in the assessment of all patients who contact the Access Center utilizing knowledge of DSM IV and Department of Behavioral Health admission criteria.
  • Responds to crisis calls from the community with accurate telephone assessment and triage to the most appropriate resource for further evaluation or follow-up. Insures that safe transportation is arranged for patients determined to be in need of emergent face-to-face evaluation.
  • Documents crisis calls in accordance with Access Center policy and procedures. Provides clear information for follow-up by Access staff.
  • Receives referrals for direct admission from other facilities or for transfers from the inpatient units within the Hospital. Completes the pre-admission assessment in accordance with Access Center policy and procedures.
  • Reviews all clinical aspects of each potential admission with the psychiatric attending physician. Develops a disposition plan in collaboration with the psychiatric attending physician.
  • Identifies patients who are appropriate for outpatient treatment and coordinates a referral to the appropriate outpatient service.
  • Provides accurate information and referrals to all callers making inquiries regarding available psychiatric services in the hospital or community.
  • Demonstrates the ability to effectively engage and support patients in the process of obtaining treatment.
  • Follows department policies and procedures with regard to medical clearance for all admissions.
  • Communicates collaboratively with the staffs of the Dept. of Behavioral Health inpatient units to update census status, to report on potential admissions, and to address emerging issues or concerns.

  • Checks insurance eligibility. Performs precertification process with insurance/managed care companies and obtains proper authorization for the indicated level of care.
  • Coordinates patient referrals from the Emergency Department with external crisis vendors to ensure timely evaluation and referral. This includes documentation of contact, time and ETA with external vendor.
  • Coordinates the psychiatric consultation activities by receipt of, documentation of, and notification of requested psychiatric consults from the medical staff. Maintains accurate consult report for management of daily turnaround time. Assists in coordination of psychiatric transfers from medicine.
  • Provides follow-up to referring agencies, outpatient treatment facilities, and family members when appropriate and in accordance with the policies of the Hospital and the Dept. of Behavioral Health regarding confidentiality.
  • Crisis Evaluation/Substance Abuse Consultation
  • Provides a thorough clinical evaluation utilizing DSM IV criteria to reach an accurate diagnosis.
  • Establishes a treatment plan through an analysis of the clinical data and symptoms and through consultation with outpatient providers, managed care representatives, and other relevant collateral contacts.
  • Reviews all psychiatric/crisis evaluations with the psychiatric attending physician. Develops a treatment and disposition plan in collaboration with the psychiatric attending physician.
  • Maintains responsibility for case coordination until the patient is transferred to another level of care or is discharged.
  • Understands the progression of addictive illness and the process of recovery. Identifies the patient's status in this process and makes appropriate recommendations for further treatment based upon the patient's motivation for change.
  • Educates the patient regarding the progression of addictive illness and the process of recovery. Informs the patient about the variety of services available including self-help resources available in the community.
  • Coordinates a referral to the appropriate inpatient, outpatient, or self-help resources.
  • Documents evaluation, admission, and discharge instructions on approved hospital forms and ensures compliance with documentation procedures.
  • Provides appropriate documentation to the patient and other care providers.
  • Determines the related needs of significant others and provides appropriate information, consultation, and referral to outpatient services or self-help as indicated.
  • Maintains regular work attendance and starts work at scheduled time.
  • Prioritizes patient care to complete assignments in a timely manner.
  • Accepts accountability for own practice and development.
  • Identifies and evaluates professional goals on a yearly basis and fulfills professional goals within established time frames.
  • Demonstrates initiative for self directed professional growth and continued competence.
  • Actively participates in Hospital committees when needed.
  • Communicates through appropriate lines of authority within the organizational structure.
  • Provides suggestions for the improvement of existing systems by participating in Performance Improvement activities.
  • Conducts activities in a calm, controlled, organized, and purposeful manner.
  • Actively seeks out and participates in clinical supervision to facilitate improved skills. Responds to supervision in a self reflective and non-defensive manner. Displays ability to accept, respond appropriately, and act on recommendations for change.
  • Is supportive of others and provides help and assistance when needed. Establishes and maintains effective working relations.


(Examples: Ability to work independently and take initiative; Good judgment and problem solving skills; Communication skills; Interpersonal and organizational skills; Level of confidentiality)

  • Skilled in the Assessment, Diagnosis, and Disposition of Behavioral Health patients.
  • Knowledgeable about services available to Behavioral Health Patients.
  • Computer skills are essential.
  • Ability to read, write, and speak English.
  • Communicates facts, ideas, and other information clearly in both written and verbal form.
  • Professional Approach to Job Performance.


  1. Education: Masters degree in Counseling, Counseling Psychology, or Social Work.
  2. Experience (Type & Length): One year of experience in an emergency or outpatient mental health setting, two or more years of experience in an emergency mental health setting is strongly preferred.
  3. Licensure: Licensure at the independent level in the state of Massachusetts; Licensed Psychologist, Licensed Independent Clinical Social Workers (LICSW) or Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC) are encouraged to apply.

Application Instructions

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