Surveys of California’s Emergency Departments and Patients Requiring Psychiatric Care

In 2010, the California Hospital Association conducted a study of emergency departments (EDs) across California to identify factors related to the usage of EDs by patients with mental health needs. The research concluded that California’s mental health system does not permit patients in acute need of psychiatric treatment to receive it at the right time, in the right place. The resulting paper, Impact of the Mental Healthcare Delivery System on California Emergency Departments, was subsequently published in the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine. It is available here for download.

Subsequently, a 2013 survey of hospitals in Alameda County tracking ED patients on involuntary mental health holds to determine boarding times. The results showed an average boarding time of one hour and 48 minutes.  The paper, Effects of a Dedicated Regional Psychiatric Emergency Service on Boarding of Psychiatric Patients in Area Emergency Departments, also published in the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine, is also available here for download.