1 in 10 EDs Boarding Psych Patients for 'One Week or More'
What's more, 60% of ED administrators said long board times for the mentally ill "have compromised quality of care, in some cases for mental health care patients only and in some cases for all patients."
Sandra Schneider, MD, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, says she is "not at all surprised by these statistics.
"There's an enormous problem in large and small hospitals across the country, with facilities holding psychiatric patients—sometimes 15 or 16—and kept there for days. We've been seeing this problem for decades."
Schneider says that while in the emergency department, "most of the time they are receiving very little if any mental health care. The most they might get is some sedation so they don't act out and disturb other patients. And there's a feeling among individuals that these patients are not sick, when they are some of our sickest, most vulnerable patients."
A big piece of the problem is the acute need for appropriately equipped holding facilities staffed with professionals who specialize in patients with mental illness and patients who have substance abuse issues. And many emergency room patients may also be suicidal, according to a Sentinel Alert issued last month by the Joint Commission.
- 'Mega Boards' Could be Rural Healthcare Disruptor
- 1 in 5 Eligible Hospitals Penalized for HACs
- HL20: Rebecca Katz—Cooking Up Sustainable Nourishment
- Meaningful Use Payment Adjustments Begin
- HL20: Peter Semczuk, DDS, MPH—Taking on the Big Challenges
- PA hospital to pay $662,000 to settle Medicare fraud case
- Supreme Court to hear Obamacare subsidy challenge in March
- Dr. Oz gets fact-checked and the results aren't pretty
- How the high cost of medical care is affecting Americans
- Why single payer died in VT