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Study: Patients needing mental health care linger in EDs

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A new study from the Foundation for Healthy Communities highlights the challenges of ensuring patients in the emergency department (ED) who have mental health needs promptly receive the care they need. Highlights of the 3-month study that used data from community hospitals in New Hampshire include:

  • Nearly one in three patients seeking mental health treatment waited more than 24 hours in an ED, with an average wait of 2.5 days.
  • More than half of all patients recommended for an involuntary emergency admission for psychiatric care waited more than 24 hours in an ED.

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  • This is happening in my state too. It is disgraceful. Mental hospitals need to do what they were designed for: Taking care of the mentally ill. A hospital ED is for the physically ill. When is this going to end? How many more Adam Lanzas and James Holmes and Jared Loughners will there be?

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