Psychiatric patients wait average of 11.5 hours in ER

May 14, 2012
Psychiatric patients wait average of 11.5 hours in ER
Average emergency department wait times for adult patients with psychiatric emergencies is 11.5 hours, and can be even longer for those who are older, uninsured, or intoxicated, according to research published online May 4 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

(HealthDay) -- Average emergency department wait times for adult patients with psychiatric emergencies is 11.5 hours, and can be even longer for those who are older, uninsured, or intoxicated, according to research published online May 4 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

In an effort to identify patient and factors related to length of stay, Anthony P. Weiss, M.D., of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues conducted a prospective study involving 1,092 adults with psychiatric emergencies who were treated between June 2008 and May 2009 at one of five emergency departments.

The researchers found that, overall, the average emergency department length of stay was 11.5 hours, but this varied according to whether the patient was discharged to home (8.6 hours) or transferred to hospitals outside the system of care (15 hours). The patient's race, sex, or homeless status had no effect on emergency department time; however, older age and being uninsured tended to be associated with longer stays. On average, patients with positive alcohol screens had a 6.2-hour longer stay; those requiring diagnostic imaging had a 3.2-hour longer stay; and those requiring restraints had a 4.2-hour longer stay.

"The results of this study are important because they highlight the interrelatedness of the various components of the mental health system and provide objectively identified targets for quality improvement," the authors write.

Explore further: Emergency departments' quality evaluation requires hospital-wide effort

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Stories

Emergency departments' quality evaluation requires hospital-wide effort

January 31, 2012
Time can be important in an emergency department especially in a busy Level 1 Trauma Center like MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, when getting patients appropriate care is essential. However, when the quality of an ...

Long emergency waiting times linked to increased risk of adverse events

June 2, 2011
Long emergency department waiting times are associated with an increased risk of hospital admission or death within seven days among non-admitted patients, finds a study published in the British Medical Journal today.

Pediatric emergency department visits for psychiatric care on the rise

October 14, 2011
Pediatric patients, primarily those who are underinsured (either without insurance or receiving Medicaid), are increasingly receiving psychiatric care in hospital emergency departments (EDs), according to an abstract presented ...

Recommended for you

Study finds gene variant increases risk for depression

July 20, 2017
A University of Central Florida study has found that a gene variant, thought to be carried by nearly 25 percent of the population, increases the odds of developing depression.

In making decisions, are you an ant or a grasshopper?

July 20, 2017
In one of Aesop's famous fables, we are introduced to the grasshopper and the ant, whose decisions about how to spend their time affect their lives and future. The jovial grasshopper has a blast all summer singing and playing, ...

Study examines effects of stopping psychiatric medication

July 20, 2017
Despite numerous obstacles and severe withdrawal effects, long-term users of psychiatric drugs can stop taking them if they choose, and mental health care professionals could be more helpful to such individuals, according ...

Perceiving oneself as less physically active than peers is linked to a shorter lifespan

July 20, 2017
Would you say that you are physically more active, less active, or about equally active as other people your age?

New study suggests that reduced insurance coverage for mental health treatment increases costs for the seriously ill

July 19, 2017
Higher out-of-pocket costs for mental health care could have the unintended consequence of increasing the use of acute and involuntary mental health care among those suffering from the most debilitating disorders, a Harvard ...

Old antibiotic could form new depression treatment

July 19, 2017
An antibiotic used mostly to treat acne has been found to improve the quality of life for people with major depression, in a world-first clinical trial conducted at Deakin University.

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

that_guy
not rated yet May 14, 2012
That's a long time to wait for help when the cyborg cockroaches are hunting me down on orders from the illuminati. That's a longtime to wait for help while the cyborg cockroaches are hunting me down on orders from the illuminati. They're trying to get into my veins, so that they can poison me.

WHY AREN'T YOU DOING ANYTHING? Can't YOU SEE THEM? THEY'RE AFTER ME! HELP!
road dog
not rated yet May 15, 2012
your comment is unkind and dripping with ignorance

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.