Jefferson Journal of Psychiatry


One of the most challenging tasks for psychiatrists and psychiatric residents is emergency room triage. This task becomes more frequent as more patients depend on the emergency room for psychiatric treatment. Various social and economic pressures account for an increased utilization of psychiatric triage. The government funds that were to provide community care for the ex-patients of state hospitals have never materialized in adequate amounts (1). Many of these patients become dependent transients who in a crisis must use the emergency room as a psychiatric clinic. To keep premiums down, some insurance companies have eliminated their outpatient psychiatric coverage, often limiting their clients to inpatient treatment only. As a result under-insured individuals appear in the emergency room seeking hospitalization instead of more appropriate outpatient care.

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