Are Psych Patients Stagnating in the ER?

Are Psych Patients Stagnating in the ER? Short answer: yes. Longer answer: according to a new study out in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, patients heading to area hospitals with a psychiatric emergency can spend an average (note, not maximum) of 11.5 hours there from the time they walk in to the time they leave to go home, or be hospitalized. For contrast, that would be 42 percent longer than the typical ER patients — and the older, drunker, or more uninsured these psych patients are, the longer they stay. Not only is this not good in general, but you know how frustrated you can get while waiting around? Imagine having that happen when you’re facing a mental emergency. [Commonhealth | Annals of Emergency Medicine]