Excessive boarding of psychiatric patients within EDs and medical hospital units is a widespread and very costly problem, both in direct care costs and non-direct drain on other hospital resources. The national average to board psychiatric patients awaiting more appropriate psychiatric hospital placement is $1,200 to $2,400 per day.(1) This cost is compounded as patients wait for days on end for more appropriate placement. In many hospital and ED settings, once a patient is admitted, they linger for days until placed elsewhere without re-evaluation to determine if their mental status and risk profile has changed.
Even when a psychiatric patient is properly determined to require hospitalization on initial evaluation (day 1), the nature of psychiatric disorders and suicidal/homicidal ideation is such that improvement in mental state can occur on subsequent days (day 2, 3, 4+). Thus, timely re-assessment of a patient's imminent risk potential is critical to get them to the proper level of care as soon as possible, divert them from hospitalization when appropriate, and reduce costs of unnecessary boarding for additional days beyond that which is medically necessary.
TelePsych Supports not only provides initial font-end evaluations when the patient presents to your facility, but also leverages our expertise to conduct re-evaluations at designated times by the facility (i.e., day 3 of admission) or when important clinical factors have changed. This equates to less unnecessary boarding, allowing patients to get back to their lives, hospital staff to get back to primary medical duties, and minimization of unneeded cost.
(1) Coffey, RM, Houchens R, Chu BC, Barrett M, Owens P, Stocks C, Vandivort-Warren R, Buck J, Emergency Department Use for Mental and Substance Use Disorders. Online August 23, 2010, U.S. AHRQ.