Hospitals find success with adding mental health professionals to inpatient care teams

The Wall Street Journal published “Hospitals Test Putting Psychiatrists on Medical Wards: To identify problems early, trials in bed metal-health workers on teams of doctors seeing patients,” on April 25, 2016. This article notes that hospitals are struggling with pressure to discharge patients as soon as possible, and patients with mental health symptoms and concerns often have longer lengths of stay.

Some hospitals have experimented with identifying patients with mental health concerns earlier in their stay and arranging for them to see a psychiatrist, or other metal health professional. These programs have found consistent costs savings, and often are viewed as being for themselves due to the savings. In many systems, however, is not financially feasible for all patients with mental health concerns to see a psychiatrist, so some programs are experimenting with having them see and other mental health professional, usually a social worker.

MHconcierge’ s take: MHconcierge is aware of a team of psychologists who are doing consultations like this within the Fairview Hospitals system. This team has been doing these consultations for over 15 years. This type of consultation is a potential opportunity for mental health professionals to expand consultation-liaison services into inpatient hospital settings.

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