The Use of Access Groups for Engagement in Community Mental Health Post Hospitalization

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This paper describes a novel approach to engaging psychiatric patients in care after discharge from inpatient or ER treatment. The Access Group model provides rapid, flexible, high-volume intake for up to 20 patient referrals per day. Patients are scheduled for intake by referring hospital clinicians using an online scheduling software and can be seen within 1–3 days of hospital discharge. Access allows flexibility, easy rescheduling, and limited wait time. At intake, patients and family members participate in a structured group intake procedure from which they are scheduled for follow-up psychiatry, therapy, and social work appointments. Same-day appointments are available for urgent needs. Initial evidence suggests that the Access Group model is effective at providing rapid access to and engagement in care, and is acceptable to patients. Generalizability and funding approaches for the model are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-539
Number of pages7
JournalCommunity Mental Health Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018


  • Access to care
  • Clinic operations
  • Intake
  • Post-hospital
  • Transitional care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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