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Journal Article

Citation

Shields MC, Stewart MT, Delaney KR. Health Aff. (Hope) 2018; 37(11): 1853-1861.

Affiliation

Kathleen R. Delaney is a professor in the Department of Community, Systems, and Mental Health Nursing, College of Nursing, Rush University, in Chicago, Illinois.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2018, Project HOPE - The People-to-People Health Foundation)

DOI

10.1377/hlthaff.2018.0718

PMID

30395512

Abstract

Behavioral health care has been slow to take up robust efforts to improve patient safety. This lag is especially apparent in inpatient psychiatry, where there is risk for physical and psychological harm. Recent investigative journalism has provoked public concern about instances of alleged abuse, negligence, understaffing, sexual assault, inappropriate medication use, patient self-harm, poor sanitation, and inappropriate restraint and seclusion. However, empirical evidence describing the scope of unsafe experiences is limited. While evidence-based inpatient psychiatry requires care to be trauma-informed, market failures and a lack of payment alignment with patient-centered care leave patients vulnerable to harm. Existing regulatory mechanisms attempt to provide accountability; however, these mechanisms are imperfect. Furthermore, research is sparse. Few health services researchers study inpatient psychiatry, the issue has not been a priority among research funders, and data on inpatient psychiatry is excluded from national surveys of quality. Several policy levers could begin to address these deficiencies. These include aligning incentives with patient-centered care, building trauma-informed care into accreditation and monitoring, conducting trend analyses of critical incidents, and improving research capacity.


Language: en

Keywords

Disparities; Evidence-Based Medicine; Hospitals; Mental Health/Substance Abuse; Quality Of Care

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