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Like a detective, the Emergency Physician (EP) must elucidate whether a psychiatric or behavioral emergency is the result of an organic/functional or psychological cause. If a patient’s symptoms are rooted in medical pathology, the treatment of the underlying medical problem will often remove the need for inpatient psychiatric hospitalization. The process of examining the patient and ruling out medical etiologies for psychiatric symptoms is often referred to as medical clearance.
Medical clearance is understood differently by psychiatrists and EPs, though effective clearance truly requires multidisciplinary collaboration. The scope of medical clearance is to provide an accurate and complete medical assessment without ordering tests that unnecessarily compound the problem or prolong length of stay; as such, an effective yet thorough medical clearance is a challenge.
With an ever shrinking number of inpatient psychiatric beds, the Emergency Department (ED) serves as both a lifeline and safety net for millions of patients suffering from new onset as well as acute exacerbations of chronic mental illness. Between 1992 and 2001 there were 53 million mental health-related ED visits in the United States. By 2007, psychiatric and behavioral emergency visits accounted for 12.5% of the 95 million visits to the ED, almost doubling from the proportion (6.3%) in 2001.
This program will provide scenarios and suggestions to address the gap between specialists as well as the challenges that you face providing care to this underserved population.
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After this webinar participants will be able to: