While many would agree that emergency rooms are not the most effective setting for treatment of psychiatric emergencies, ER’s have nonetheless become the default healthcare setting for those seeking immediate relief from an urgent or emergent psychiatric crisis. Additionally, law enforcement agencies, community providers, families, and concerned others have come to rely on acute care ER’s for medical and psychiatric screening for persons thought to pose a risk of harm to themselves or others.
Unfortunately, there are an inordinate number of persons presenting to ER’s with urgent conditions that do not require hospitalization. The numbers are fairly consistent throughout the U.S. Seventy to seventy-five percent of persons presenting with a non-emergent psychiatric condition do not need to be hospitalized. Often, appropriate evaluation and level of care determination along with referral to the right outpatient service or provider is the most effective course of action.
ER staff and hospital leadership have long been tasked with the dilemma of patients waiting for hours just to be evaluated and patents returning due to lack of follow-up care. Granted a lack of resources especially psychiatric beds will continue to impact the length of ER stay for some patients.
Tele Mental Health Services can help reduce the length of time patients wait to be appropriately evaluated. Our unique services employ the most efficient and effective technology giving providers at all levels the assurance through accurate and comprehensive documentation the correct disposition is reached and referral to the most effective next provider or service has been made.
In the face of ever-increasing risk, regulatory scrutiny, and requirements, it is imperative that ER’s provide the right care at the right time with recommendations and/or referrals that address the core needs of a segment of our population that deserves the opportunity to access and benefit from mental health treatment.
Advantages of using Tele Mental Health Services:
- Prevent a non emergent situation from escalating to an emergent one
- Reduce the likelihood of other patients becoming more anxious
- Reduction in staff time spent attending to patients
- Reduction in patients leaving without being seen (LWBS)
- Improved ED revenue
- Reduction in return visits for non emergent issues
*Tele Mental Health Services can also provide consultation services to evaluate the current effectiveness of care for psychiatric emergency services and provide recommendations and estimated cost/benefit for potential improvements. Tele Mental Health Services partners with the Zayante Group for a variety of consultation services. For more information go to www.zayantegroup.org.