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  • Print publication year: 2013
  • Online publication date: April 2013

Chapter 45 - Best practices for the evaluation and treatment of patients with mental and substance use illness in the emergency department

from Section 6. - Administration of psychiatric care


This chapter addresses three themes relevant to the coordination of care between the emergency medicine and psychiatry clinicians: who is involved in the coordination of care; creating a coordination team; and the benefits of nonclinical interdisciplinary collaboration. Coordinating care with mental health professionals suggests the challenge of understanding who's who, and who's likely to be doing what. Creating an effective team requires additional steps, including assessing the availability of willing resource-partners, recognizing the abilities and liabilities of those resource-partners, and designing a model for coordinating care. These themes were chosen to highlight differences in culture, training or approach and may provide providers with the clarity to decrease interdepartmental frustrations and improve patient outcomes. In addition to coordinating patient care, collaborations between psychiatry and emergency services can be helpful for growing departments in several ways including through education for capacity building, research initiatives, and improving well-being and morale.


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