Report receipt of services subsequent to a psychiatric emergency room visit
Although most cohort members were referred for further community service, a rather low proportion followed through with receiving service. Clearly, the staff of the psychiatric emergency room did their best in encouraging patients to engage in continuing service. It seems that those inclined to continue with service are also more inclined to return to the PER. Those who did receive service received moderate amounts, usually in the form of assessment and coordination and little actual treatment.
However, given the low rates of subsequent hospitalization, it appears that patients are being appropriately diverted from hospitalizations. But there also appears to be a greater tendency for cohort members to return to the PER. From the comments of cohort members, it was evident that some clearly liked the PER service. Care needs to be taken that patients do not use the PER as a substitute resource for services that can be delivered more effectively from community mental health agencies. With regard to situations of impending crises, case managers should intervene to prevent crises and to decrease unnecessary use of the psychiatric emergency room service. Beck was Research Associate Federation for Community Planning, Cleveland, Ohio.
This research was funded by the Office of Program Evaluation and Research, Ohio Department of Mental Health.
KeywordsMental Health Case Manager Community Service Health Agency Program Evaluation
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