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Patient satisfaction with psychiatric services provided by a Melbourne tertiary hospital emergency department
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by M Summers, Brenda Happell
The mainstreaming of psychiatric services within the general healthcare system has created fundamental changes to the manner in which patients access acute psychiatric services. This change was intended to reduce the stigma associated with psychiatric diagnosisand therefore contribute to improved treatment outcomes for patients. The aim of this paper is to discuss the results of a study designed to ascertain the level of psychiatric patient satisfaction with the services received in the emergency department of a Melbournemetropolitan hospital. The results indicate a high level of satisfaction, particularly with the availability of staff with psychiatric qualifications and experience to provident treatment, support and care. The major areas of dissatisfaction identified bypatients included: lengthy waiting times, lack of privacy in the triage area and negative attitudes of general staff. These findings support the argument from the literature for psychiatric consultancy services to be available in the emergency department, and furtheridentifies the need for triage guidelines to be tailored to the needs of mental health patients and for emergency department triage staff to be appropriately educated to adequately triage these patients.