From Modern Healthcare
Psychiatric patients wait disproportionately longer in emergency departments before receiving treatment and experience longer stays compared to other medical patients, according to reports released Monday by the American College of Emergency Physicians.
The three separate studies examined how emergency rooms care for patients with psychiatric conditions compared to other patients by looking at ER wait times and length of stay.
One of the reports, a survey from the ACEP of 1,700 emergency medicine physicians, found 48% of doctors say psychiatric patients are held in their emergency department waiting for an inpatient bed at least once a day. Almost 21% said patients wait up to two to five days for an inpatient psychiatric bed. Additionally, 57% of doctors reported increased wait times and boarding for children with psychiatric conditions.
From ACEP Press Release
Almost half (48 percent) of respondents reported psychiatric patients are held (or “boarded”) in their emergency department waiting for an in-patient bed one or more times a day.
More than half (57 percent) reported increased wait times and boarding for children with psychiatric illnesses.
Only 16.9 percent reported having a psychiatrist on call to respond to psychiatric emergencies in the emergency department.
More than 11 percent reported having no one on call to respond to psychiatric emergencies.
More than 10 percent reported having 6 to 10 patients waiting for inpatient psychiatric beds on their last shift.