Understanding Legalities: Behavioral Health and Substance Use Patient Care in the Emergency Department

Ames, IA US
October 18, 2018

Mary Greeley Medical Center Grand Rounds is a multi-disciplinary clinical activity which serves to maintain, develop, or increase the knowledge, skills, and professional performance and relationships that a physician uses to provide services for patients, the public or the profession.  

Target Audience

Emergency Department Staff, Behavioral Health and Crisis Nurses, Social Services, Quality Management, Emergency Department Providers.


To provide a legal update on treatment of behavioral health and substance use patients while boarding in the Emergency Department. 

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss the laws that are involved in caring for patients with substance use and Behavioral Health issues.
  • Describe HIPAA compliance when communicating with the police and mental health liaisons.
  • Identify the differences in a 48-hour hold and a court committal.
  • Discuss the responsibilities of law enforcement when Behavioral Health and substance use patients are boarding in the Emergency Department.
  • Describe strategies appropriate when obtaining labs or performing treatments when the patient is uncooperative or aggressive.
  • Discuss the issue of elopement, including caregiver response when this occurs.


Jo Ellen Whitney, JD
Davis Brown Law Firm, Des Moines, IA


  • Graduate School, Duke University School of Law
  • Undergraduate School, Duke University

Full biography



  • Dr. Whitney has disclosed that she is a Senior Shareholder with Davis Brown Law Firm, and therefore, has a financial relationship with commercial entities that produce health care goods or services relevant to the content area she is presenting which is Health Law Legal Representation. 

CME Committee

  • No member of the Mary Greeley Medical Center CME Committee who planned this activity has any financial relationship to disclose relating to the content. 

This program is supported by gifts to the Mary Greeley Medical Center Foundation from Mary Greeley Medical Center, McFarland Clinic, First American Bank, and Green Hills Health Care Center. The content and selection of speaker(s) is the responsibility of the Mary Greeley Medical Center for Continuing Medical Education Committee and not the sponsors of this program.

    Course summary
    Available credit: 
    • 2.00 AOA Category 2­A
    Course opens: 
    Course expires: 
    Event starts: 
    10/18/2018 - 9:00am CDT
    Event ends: 
    10/18/2018 - 11:00am CDT
    Mary Greeley Medical Center
    Atrium A
    1111 Duff Avenue
    Ames, IA 50010
    United States

    Continuing Education Credit

    DO: Des Moines University (DMU) is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association to provide osteopathic continuing medical education for physicians. DMU designates this program for a maximum of 2.0 AOA Category 2-A credits and will report CME and specialty credits commensurate with the extent of the physician’s participation in this activity.


    No commercial interest company provided financial support for this continuing education activity.


    Everyone in a position to control the content of this educational activity will disclose to the CME provider and to attendees all relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest. They will also disclose if any pharmaceuticals or medical procedures and devices discussed are investigational or unapproved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Determination of educational content and the selection of speakers is the responsibility of the activity director. Firms providing financial support did not have input in these areas. The information provided at this CME activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition. The content of each presentation does not necessarily reflect the views of Des Moines University.

    Available Credit

    • 2.00 AOA Category 2­A


    Please login or Create an Account to take this course.