Study Objective: We determine the incidence of clinically significant findings within mandatory screening studies during medical clearance of patients for psychiatric care. Methods: This is a retrospective review of emergency department patients medically cleared for psychiatric care over 11 months. All patients evaluated for behavioural health-related issues are recorded on a daily report which was used to locate subjects. Laboratory studies were reviewed during that visit for the presence of abnormalities. If abnormalities were noted, the individual chart was reviewed. Our primary outcome was the incidence of clinically significant findings that warranted admission to a medical or surgical unit. Results: 204 psychiatric patient reports were reviewed. 191 of these patients had screening studies performed. Seven patients were admitted to a nonpsychiatric unit. These admissions were all for elevated ethanol levels. These patients were admitted until their ethanol level decreased, and then transferred to a psychiatric facility. The total screening lab cost during this study period was $27,893. Conclusions: Routine screening has limited utility in this population and comes at significant cost. Further research should be directed to determine which patients may benefit from screening studies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health