A Psychiatric Walk-In Model Providing Immediate Access for Patients Across the Lifespan
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Patients can be in a state of emotional crisis before gaining access to psychiatric treatment, leading to long-term detrimental consequences to both patient and community. In the psychiatric patient population, can walk-in psychiatric visits expand access and quality of care to patients within hours for mental health concerns at a Midwest psychiatric and addiction clinic? The mental health crisis is a well-known phenomenon of the national shortage of psychiatric services available in the United States, leading to fatal outcomes. Immediate access is conceptualized by providing timely, quality care. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to execute an evidenced based intervention with walk-in access to psychiatric services and assess the overall experience of patients in the realms of time and care quality during COVID-19. The population was 1358 psychiatric patients of all ages and demographics. The setting was a mental health site in the Midwest providing same-day treatment with psychiatrists and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners. Over three months, the modality was evaluated by patients completing a post-survey at the end of their visit, assessing efficacy and reasons for seeking care. Results were analyzed using descriptive data and revealed timely intervention and quality of care, 97.7% receiving care in hours, 95.1% in the provider absolutely heard their needs and understood reasons for seeking care, and 92.6% absolutely received a quality treatment plan. The results revealed the walk-in psychiatric visits can be successfully utilized in psychiatry and other disciplines to improve timeliness and quality of care delivery.
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