a clear problem…
Mental health complaints accounted for approximately 20,000,000 (15%) of the 136,000,000 visits to the Emergency Department in 2014. Psychiatric boarding in the emergency department has become a national crisis. For the past two decades, emergency departments have seen increasing numbers of patients with psychiatric and substance abuse issues. Simultaneously, primarily through budget cuts, there has been a dramatic reduction in inpatient psychiatric bed capacity and access to care in the outpatient community. The result?
80% of 1,500 emergency physicians believe that the mental health systems currently in place in their communities are not providing optimal care for patients
70% of patients with mental health complaints visiting the emergency department waited more than 10 hours to see a mental health professional, significantly greater length of stay in the emergency department compared to non-psychiatric complaints
60% of emergency department physicians believe the increase in emergency department visits by individuals with mental illnesses is having a negative impact upon access to emergency medical care for all patients
50% of patients with mental health complaints visiting the emergency department are dissatisfied with their experience
addressing today's struggle…
Behavioral health problems are among the most pressing health issues facing the country—affecting more than 18 percent of adults. To compound the problem, a recent study by the Emergency Nurses Association noted the bulk of emergency department nurses believe that there is currently a lack of specialized training and education to care for patients with acute psychiatric emergencies.
The subsequent increase in psychiatric emergency department boarding threatens the ability to provide high quality emergency care. Key metrics such as door to doctor, emergency department length of stay, and the percentage of patients who leave without being seen by a provider are increasing. This equates to an overall cost to the health care system of $30 billion annually.
Most proposed solutions have focused solely on the need to increase available inpatient psychiatric hospital beds, rather than considering alternative emergency care psychiatric solutions. Adopting a fresh approach, like our qlēr Touch solution, could facilitate prompt access to treatment and restore capacity within the emergency department and the inpatient hospital setting.