7 Best Practices of Partial Hospitalization Program

7 Best Practices of Partial Hospitalization Program

A partial hospitalization program aims to provide a structured treatment environment to patients without requiring them to do an overnight stay in the facility. Also known as day treatment, it delivers a high level of psychosocial care while still giving individuals the freedom to go home after each session. This kind of program effectively treats mental illnesses, including substance use disorders.

It can reduce the length of your hospitalization or be used as a way to transition slowly back to everyday life after residential treatment. It is more intensive than a standard outpatient program and requires more time commitment. 

Treatment sessions usually go between four to six hours a day, five days a week, and patients typically spend 14 to 21 days to complete these programs.

To get into a partial hospitalization program, your physician has to do a clinical evaluation. They will check the patient’s current condition, history, environment, and support system.

With the information gathered from the evaluation, they will develop an individualized treatment plan with input from the patient and their family.

Patients can expect group meetings, occasional one-on-one sessions with a therapist, random drug testing, and medication management.

Why Is There A Need For A Comprehensive Patient Care Program?

Around 21 million Americans suffer from addiction. To curb this growing problem, rehabilitation facilities offer various treatment programs. Therapies allow drug-dependent individuals to change their daily structure for the better and put their life back on track.

However, rehab will only be successful if the facility provides quality care. In this case, implementing best practices of a partial hospitalization program is necessary. These can help address mental illness and combat its symptoms. Additionally, it will help the patient sustain abstinence or long-term sobriety.

Best Practices of Partial Hospitalization Program

A partial hospitalization program intends to help individuals understand their illness, mitigate its effects, and healthily cope with crises while keeping their jobs or maintaining their homes. By applying these best practices in treatment centers, patients can get access to effective rehabilitation programs.

Assessing the Appropriate Level of Care

Treatment facilities have physicians that will evaluate the individual and determine the right level of care they require. In most cases, partial hospitalization programs may be appropriate if the patient presents some of these conditions:

  • Has a persistent mental illness that has not improved or cannot be addressed effectively in a less intensive level of care
  • Shows symptoms concerning substance use disorder or relapse after a period of sobriety.
  • Can function adequately in their daily tasks, including self-care, cleaning, decision-making, complying with medications, addressing safety issues, etc.
  • Has an intact support system
  • Has the willingness to participate actively in the program
  • Exhibits acute symptoms or loss of function that calls for an intermediate level of attention but does not need 24-hour confinement

Offering Therapeutic Programs

An addiction therapy program establishes a sense of healing and community. That said, there should be a guideline that enumerates the goals, procedures, and expectations regarding the process that will take place to maintain a cohesive and stable plan. This will benefit not only the patients but also their family members, peers, and collaborating providers.

Some of the treatment approaches you can expect in partial hospitalization programs are group therapy, psychoeducational services, individual therapy, family sessions, occupational therapies, and creative therapies.


Treatment facilities need to have a multidisciplinary team to take on different tasks. Partial hospitalization programs and other therapies operate under the supervision of a physician and a program leader.

The physician oversees the clinical needs of the individuals enrolled in a program while the leader supervises the clinical and administrative operations.

Other team members should have appropriate academic degrees, licensure or certification, and experience with the treated populations. Clinical staff needs to have a background in psychiatry, psychology, social work, addictions, and medicine. There may also be the need for recreational and occupational therapists.

Case Management

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A clinical staff member is responsible for coordinating a patient’s treatment plan. They should continuously work with the person and follow the treatment course from admission to discharge. 

They have to track progress, review treatment, organize therapeutic team efforts, and take care of discharge planning. Staff involvement in case management is paramount, especially for patients doing it for the first time.

Length of Stay

The patient’s length of stay depends on their current conditions. There should be an ongoing documented review of the individual’s response to the services provided to determine whether they still need to continue with the treatment, revise it, or mark it complete.

Typically, the average length of stay in a short-term acute partial hospitalization program ranges from 5 to 30 days, while long-term treatment may exceed 30 days. The patient experience should be satisfactory, and the staff should work together to achieve goals, render services, and provide time for clinical intervention.

Set Clear Treatment Plans

Treatment plans should be customized based on specific needs while highlighting recovery principles. The program must carefully consider the person’s diagnosis, stressors, personal strength, level of motivation, and barriers to treatment. It should also identify the people responsible for the implementation of the plan. By creating a coherent substance abuse treatment program, you can improve the patient’s chances of recovery.

Telehealth or Online Therapy

Online partial hospitalization programs have been made available to people who can’t go on-site due to different reasons.

Telehealth is a new type of service delivery that allows patients to receive the best care possible – even remotely. This is especially valuable during challenging times, like with the COVID pandemic. However, facilities must carefully consider the severity of patients’ issues and compliance to data privacy before initiating the program.

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A partial hospitalization program is an intensive treatment approach for people dealing with mental health challenges. It aims to stabilize the person’s behavior and improve their coping mechanisms. It delivers the same program intensity of acute inpatient care without requiring the person to stay in the hospital for 24 hours.

Implementing the best practices of this program can make meaningful contributions to your community. It improves not only the patient’s recovery outcomes but also the overall quality of healthcare.

Getting professional help makes recovery possible. Roots Through Recovery can support you as you take your step towards a healthier and more fulfilling life. If you are interested to learn about our programs, you may schedule an appointment with us.

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