Appropriately providing care to the vast number of people in the US suffering from mental health disorders can be challenging, especially in today’s healthcare environment. With a shortage of services and beds to adequately serve this population within psychiatric facilities, more patients are turning to the ED. Hospitalists are then assisting overextended EDs by admitting the patients to the hospital for necessary observation. Patients with psychiatric disorders deserve better and deserve to have proper, complete accommodations for their needs. However, this requires legislation, resource allocation, reimbursement, and professional training. Absent this, what can our EDs do to better serve this particular patient population, while also alleviating pressures along the course?

In a recent Becker’s Healthcare article, SCP clinical leaders Dr. Ken Heinrich and Dr. Kenneth Esptein deliver four practical solutions: Reinforcing patient-centered partnership; using technological means such as telemedicine; advocating effectively for more resources and collaborating beyond the walls of the hospital.