You’ve read here about the advent of urgent care facilities dedicated to mental health issues. Psychiatric urgent care has not gained much traction thus far, however. That doesn’t mean such patients will stop presenting, of course. By the time patients do present due to mental health concerns, in fact, they’re likely to be in full-blown crisis or possibly in the throes of a drug-induced event. As always, the first priority is to assess the current level of risk to the patient’s life and whether your facility is equipped to treat them or they need a depth of care beyond the urgent care provider’s training. Consultation with or referral to a psychiatrist is likely not going to be immediately available, unfortunately. That leaves the prospect of transfer to a community hospital ED, which may not necessarily be a step in the right direction either. According to a new report in Kaiser Health News, however, the number of emergency rooms equipped to deal with psychiatric crises is on the rise. The aim of these psychiatric EDs is to stabilize patients and connect them to longer-term resources and care more quickly. Given that the rate of ED visits for psychoses, bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety grew more than 50% between 2006 and 2013, it would be advisable for the urgent care operator to explore what options are accessible within a reasonable distance of their locations. Doing so could not only help your patients, but also open the door to a fruitful, mutually beneficial relationship with the hospital.
Psych Presentations Constitute a Major Challenge in Urgent Care