Evaluation of the Timeliness of Psychiatric Consultations

Frederick JP Langheim, Eric Heiligenstein


Background: Emergency department (ED) delays have multiple causes and create frustration for patients and staff alike.

Methods: New adult psychiatric ED consultations were studied. Elapsed time between workflow stages was tested as a predictor of total time from triage to disposition. To expedite interviews a one-page form was provided for interested patients to complete before psychiatric evaluation.

Results: Total ED time best correlated with time from rooming to consultation request. Total time was not predicted by time to rooming, or from consultation request to arrival of the psychiatric team.

Conclusions: The intervention appeared to significantly reduce interview times. Variation among physicians regarding protocol for psychiatric consultation requests underscored the importance of standardization in quality improvement efforts.

J Clin Med Res. 2014;6(4):242-244
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.14740/jocmr1809w


Consultation liaison psychiatry; Emergency medicine; Quality improvement

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