A standalone crisis stabilization unit will be built on the Palomar Medical Center Escondido campus, designed to free up emergency department beds.

The 6,000-square-foot unit, which will include 16 beds, a nurses’ station and other infrastructure, will provide short-term care for patients experiencing an acute psychiatric and/or substance use crisis.

For the last 10 years, hospitalization for mental or substance use disorders has increased at a faster rate than any other clinical disease category for hospital admission, according to Palomar Health. So, the debut of the unit next summer will mean less stress on the emergency department.

Palomar Health currently operates an eight-bed crisis stabilization unit at its downtown Escondido campus, which is up for sale.

The hospital system is partnering on the project with Florida-based RAD Technology Systems, a construction company specializing in modular buildings in health care.

A request for the projected cost of the unit was not immediately returned.