Between 1970 and 2000, the number of public psychiatric hospital beds dropped from 207 beds per 100,000 people to just 21, according to the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. A 2010 survey of 603 hospital emergency department administrators by the Schumacher Group, an emergency-room consultancy, found that 56% of emergency departments (ED) are “often unable” to transfer behavioral patients to inpatient facilities in a timely manner. More than 70% of administrators reported waits of at least 24 hours, and 10% had boarded patients for a week or longer. In a 2008 survey of 328 ED Medical Directors in the US, 79.2% report routine psychiatric patient boarding with 35.1% boarding greater than 1 patient per day and 38.9% boarding for between 8-24 hours. The survey sited lack of accepting transferring facility (19.9%), and the inability to transfer to an accepting facility due to bed availability (19.5%) as the most common reasons for extended ED length of stay.
As mental health care professionals, we witness the suffering of patients and their families while waiting in Emergency Rooms (ER) to be placed in appropriate psychiatric beds on a daily basis. For many psychiatric patients, the chaotic ED environment itself can increase psychological stress on patients who are already often in psychotic or depressed states, further worsening their condition. Because ERs are poorly equipped to deal with mental health needs, boarded patients do not receive high-quality care there. Their presence affects the care received by other patients because boarded patients reduce ER capacity and increase pressure on staff.
The Patient Valet Team is comprised of psychiatrists, nurses, therapists, business professionals, and programmers with decades of experience. Our platform utilizes a simple design to create a seamless, functional and user friendly online environment. Our corporation continues to seek out and align with like minded hospitals, organizations, and individuals.
Patient Valet feels it is imperative to use every available resource to its full potential during this crisis. It is imperative to use new technology and ideas to revolutionize the current fractured system. By using information sharing and real-time updates, professionals are able to locate those precious and limited available resources that have previously gone underutilized.
“Sometimes to find the needle, you have to move the haystack.”