News Briefs

NQF endorses measures in psychiatric care

The National Quality Forum (NQF) has endorsed two inpatient psychiatric measures focused on quality improvement in psychiatric hospitals and general hospitals with psychiatric units.

The endorsed measures address the use of restraints and seclusion and complement psychiatric medication management measures recently endorsed by NQF, which is based in Washington, DC.

The goal of both measures is to reduce use of restraints and seclusion, the NQF steering committee noted in its deliberations on the matter. The endorsed standards measure the total number of hours all patients admitted to a psychiatric setting were held in seclusion and the total number of hours physical restraints were used.

An estimated 57.7 people suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder each year in the United States, including 4.5 million who suffer from a serious mental illness like schizophrenia or severe bipolar disorder. Many receive treatment in a psychiatric hospital or the psychiatric unit of a general hospital during an acute episode.

The steering committee was co-chaired by Bruce A. Boissonault, president and CEO of the Niagara Health Quality Coalition and Frank Opelka, vice chancellor of clinical affairs at Louisiana State University.

NQF is a voluntary consensus standards-setting organization.