Behavioral Health ED Visit: Expectations and Limitations

 

CME CREDIT NOW AVAILABLE-1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit FOR EACH ISSUE (2 ARTICLES)!!!!!!

By: Kristin Weinschenk, MD and Michael Lowley, MD

Kristin.Weinschenk@choa.org

The primary goal of the psychiatric evaluation in an ED setting is to assess the safety of the individual, and to connect them with resources at the appropriate level of care. This begins at triage with a screening tool called the ASQ (Ask Suicide-Screening Questions to Everyone in Medical Setting), a five-item questionnaire which flags patients for risk of recent or current thoughts of self-harm. A positive screen will then trigger referral for amore detailed evaluation by either the psychiatric social worker in the ED, or by a member of the Psychiatry Consult Liaison service. The MH professional will conduct a psychosocial assessment, and complete a more detailed suicide risk assessment tool called the BSSA. Once level of risk is established, the treatment plan will reflect the need for appropriate safety and monitoring, whether at an inpatient psychiatric hospital or in a less restrictive care setting.

 

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