The Importance of Limiting Patient Numbers

in Addiction
Morgan Metzger
Published Apr 10, 2021
new patient

With an estimated 19,770,000 people in the United States self-reporting a substance use disorder and over 1,500,000 people receiving treatment each year at over 14,500 different specialized facilities, finding a place that meets your individual needs can seem daunting. As you consider your options for detox, one factor to keep in mind is the size of each facility’s population of patients, as well as their staff-to-patient ratio. Facilities with a smaller number of patients are more likely to provide comprehensive, individualized care; this isn’t to say that other facilities don’t. However, to maximize your chances of a safe, effective, lasting journey towards health, learn about the benefits of a lower staff-to-patient ratio and decide accordingly.

The Importance of Comprehensive Assessment

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration’s Treatment Improvement Protocols 45, published in 2006, details the thoroughness with which a patient battling addiction should be evaluated. Chemical dependence, particularly on opioids, is associated with various medical complications and conditions, making a complete physical examination a necessary part of patient intake. Unlike a routine visit to a primary care practitioner, a detox intake will include a physical exam, medical and substance use history, and labs and screenings if needed.

Though this may feel invasive, your professionals need to know what they’re dealing with so they can create the most effective possible plan of treatment for you. That’s why, as difficult as it may be to talk about at this point, you’ll want a facility where the staff can take the time and care to sit down with you and understand the whole picture of who you are. They also need to understand your circumstances and how the bigger picture of your life relates to your substance use. The more pressure a facility may feel about moving things along, maintaining turnover rates, or work through a large population of patients, the less likely it is that you’ll receive the entirely individualized approach that would help you most.

Personalized Care

SAMHSA rates the following tiers of staff-to-patient ratios in treatment centers:

  • High ratio: 1 staff member per 14 or more patients
  • Medium ratio: 1 staff member per 5-14 patients
  • Low ratio: 1 staff member per 4 or fewer patients

Some states institute laws of their own that restrict staff-to-patient ratios. For example, Pennsylvania mandates one full-time primary care staff member per seven patients for residential detox programs; Colorado mandates one per twelve. Keep this information in mind to evaluate your options for detox treatment. The lower a facility’s staff-to-patient ratio, the more comprehensive your care will be. Recovery can be a tumultuous process, especially in its early stages. Having around-the-clock supervision and access to resources can significantly impact the success and ease of your withdrawal and healing.

Beyond the supervisory benefits, a low “class size” at your facility can mean the chance to spend more quality time with the same staff members. Over time, you’ll come to trust the staff there and will want to work with them as closely as you can to develop a reliable plan of action for keeping yourself sober and healthy in the long run. The more time you can spend with the same staff, the deeper that bond will grow.

Limiting Patient Numbers at Gallus Medical Detox Centers

At Gallus Medical Detox Centers, we focus on patient experience. We want the individuals who enter our detox facility to feel a sense of safety, comfort, and compassion – these are our top priority. We limit the number of patients in our facility to provide individuals with the best care possible. Unlike hospitals, we personalize our patient care and provide evidence-based therapies that better manage withdrawal. Residential treatment centers lack the clinical expertise and full-time medical staff to provide the level of care you deserve.

To ensure your safety and comfort, we implement The Gallus Method. This approach to detox treatment includes IV therapy to manage withdrawal symptoms, cardiac and video monitoring, daily physician visits, 24/7 medical staffing, and more. When we limit patient numbers, we can better assess your needs and provide you with what you need. It also makes critical components of The Gallus Method, such as daily physician visits, more feasible.

Our board-certified physicians have extensive critical care and addiction experience, unique knowledge of how drugs move within the body, and expertise in managing other co-occurring disorders and other physical illnesses. We understand that each patient’s needs are unique, which is why our plans are individualized and evidence-based.

If you or a loved one are ready to get help for addiction or problems related to substance use, find a facility that can meet your individual needs and help you make the transition into a healthier life. Unilateral institutional standards don’t mean a thing if you can’t measure success in terms of your unique goals. At Gallus Medical Detox Centers, we provide personalized care to help you meet your recovery head-on. From medical detox to assisting you with aftercare, we work to treat you as a person, not just as a disorder attached to a body. Our exemplary staff-to-patient ratio and limited patient pool mean that you receive comprehensive guidance in every aspect of your treatment. When it comes to your wellbeing, don’t settle for mediocre care; invest in your future. Get sober, stay sober, and make the most of your new life. Contact Gallus Medical Detox Centers at (866) 296-5242 to learn more.