An evaluation of proactive psychiatric consults on general medical units

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7 Scopus citations


Objective: Recent studies have shown an association between proactive psychiatric consultation on medical units and shorter length of stay. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of implementing a proactive psychiatric consult service on general medical units in an urban teaching hospital on length of stay and qualitative measurement of satisfaction of adequacy of psychiatric services. Methods: Bivariate and multivariate analyses of demographic, clinical and outcome data were performed comparing patients seen by the proactive psychiatric consult team, patients seen contemporaneously on other general medical units by a traditional, reactive consult team and patients seen the prior year on the proactive intervention units by the reactive consult team. Length of stay was the primary outcome examined. Regression modeling was performed to assess further the relationship of length of stay with the three groups. Nursing and physician staff were queried before and after intervention regarding satisfaction with psychiatric resources on the intervention units. Results: Patients seen by the proactive team had shorter length of stay than those seen by contemporaneous reactive consult team (p = 0.005) or the prior year by the reactive team on the intervention units (p = 0.005). There was no significant difference between the latter two groups. Time to consult was also shorter for patients seen through the proactive model than the reactive model on other units at the same time (0.01) or the preceding year (<0.001). Nursing and physician satisfaction with psychiatric help increased significantly in three of four measures. Conclusions: Proactive psychiatric consultation in our study correlated with shorter time to consult, shorter length of stay, and improved staff satisfaction compared to a reactive consult model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-64
Number of pages8
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • Length of stay
  • Proactive consultation
  • Staff satisfaction
  • Time to consult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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