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

Schizophrenia drug development may be 'de-risked' with new research tool

November 22, 2017
Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI) have identified biomarkers that can aid in the development of better treatments for schizophrenia.

Study finds infection and schizophrenia symptom link

November 22, 2017
If a mother's immune system is activated by infection during pregnancy, it could result in critical cognitive deficits linked to schizophrenia in her offspring, a University of Otago study has revealed.

Self-harm, suicide attempts climb among US girls, study says

November 21, 2017
Attempted suicides, drug overdoses, cutting and other types of self-injury have increased substantially in U.S. girls, a 15-year study of emergency room visits found.

Car, stroller, juice: Babies understand when words are related

November 20, 2017
The meaning behind infants' screeches, squeals and wails may frustrate and confound sleep-deprived new parents. But at an age when babies cannot yet speak to us in words, they are already avid students of language.

Simple EKG can determine whether patient has depression or bipolar disorder

November 20, 2017
A groundbreaking Loyola Medicine study suggests that a simple 15-minute electrocardiogram could help a physician determine whether a patient has major depression or bipolar disorder.

Non-fearful social withdrawal linked positively to creativity

November 20, 2017
Everyone needs an occasional break from the social ramble, though spending too much time alone can be unhealthy and there is growing evidence that the psychosocial effects of too much solitude can last a lifetime.

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.