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A psychiatric nurse practitioner Ledurgent care center: Decreasing emergency room visits

Statement of the Problem: The lack of access to psychiatric services in health care has been a constant challenge for decades, resulting in significant delays to treatment with consequences in reduced quality of care, low patient satisfaction, poor patient outcomes, reduction in the workforce and higher costs (National Council for Behavioral Health, 2017). According to a March, 2017 report from the National Council of Behavioral Health (NCBH), a national shortage of psychiatrists is about to spiral out of control, with 77% of U.S. counties reporting a severe psychiatrist shortage. Emergency departments have seen an increase of psychiatric patients in the last couple of years. This trend is related to the lack of access to mental health providers. Urgent care is defined as health care provided for the treatment of acute illness or injury that is not life threatening (Urgent Care Association of America [UCAOA], 2011). Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: In December 2017, a Psychiatric NP led urgent care office was implemented. After a year of collecting data from a retrospective chart review, 49 patients were seen from December 2017- December 2018 for urgent mental health issues. 

Author(s): Pasqua T. Spinelli

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