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Carolina Medical Center feels psychiatric care strain

Charlotte Observer, July 11, 2010

A surge in emergency room patients needing psychiatric care has strained Carolinas Medical Center's overall ability to provide psychiatric services, according to an internal hospital memorandum obtained by the Observer. The July 2 memo, sent to hospital staff from CMC president Suzanne Freeman and senior vice president James Hunter, said CMC is taking steps and considering long-range plans to accommodate the increase in patients. Those measures include possible staffing additions at CMC's hospitals - where psychiatric patients often come to emergency rooms - as well as a possible "med-psych" facility that would serve psychiatric patients with other medical conditions.