Hospital emergency rooms routinely experience the impossible position of not having enough staff to provide psychiatric services and not being able to move the patient until those services are provided. If an emergency room staff person is required to provide one-to-one monitoring of a patient waiting for psychiatric services, the cost and disruption to the emergency room are greatly increased.
Telepsychiatry Services for Emergency Departments
- Twenty-one percent of psychiatric patients require admission to the hospital as compared to only 13.5 percent of medical patients.
- Twenty-three percent of psychiatric patients wait in the emergency department more than six (6) hours, while only 10 percent of medical patients wait that long.
- Seven percent of psychiatric patients stay in the emergency department for more than 12 hours, versus just over two (2) percent of medical patients.
- Eleven percent of psychiatric patients wind up transferred to another facility, while only 1.4 percent of medical patients are transferred.
Why FasPsychFasPsych provides expedient access to a psychiatrist or psychiatric APRN via video teleconferencing equipment. By expanding access to psychiatric care the hospital personnel is better able to quickly disposition the patient and develop a plan with the insurance company to discharge the patient to the appropriate level of care. Better access to psychiatric services both frees up the emergency department to treat appropriate admissions and provides an avenue by which the psychiatric patient receives the most clinically appropriate care.
The Opportunities of TelepsychiatryTelepsychiatry offers the opportunity to:
- Rapidly access psychiatric services for child and adult patients
- Decrease the wait times for all patients by more efficiently transitioning patients with psychiatric service needs out of the emergency department
- Reduce cost associated with ancillary staff needed to provide one-to-one supervision of patients who are disruptive due to psychiatric symptoms
- Reduce risk management issues and costs associated with undertrained medical staff dispositioning patients with psychiatric service needs
- Decrease the cost of uncompensated care related to increased ability to quickly discharge patients with psychiatric service needs to a medically necessary level of care
- Improve emergency room staff morale as they will no longer be expected to care for patients who they are undertrained to serve