By Robyn Baek
For hospitals around the country, there is a growing, systemic trend towards the number of behavioral health patients arriving at the emergency department outpacing the resources in place to support them.
Hospital emergency departments are not built for mental health. As a result, when patients arrive at an ED with symptoms of mental health concern, and the courses of treatment available within the department are often limited. Patients can receive needed drugs, oversight and an initial psychological assessment, but little else without seeking specialized care. EDs are built to move patients quickly into inpatient or outpatient environments where they can receive ongoing psychiatric support.
However, many EDs are understaffed to handle the volume of psychiatric patients visiting, and thus struggle to make a timely qualified assessment, which can lead to strained resources, extended wait times and expensive boarding costs.[Read more…] about The True Cost of the Mental Health Crisis in the Emergency Department