Health service delivery and research outcomes of a common departmental structure for psychiatric consultation-liaison and social work services at a university hospital

Jeffrey S. Hammer, James J. Strain, John S. Lyons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Convincing evidence exists that psychosocial factors have a major impact on both outcome and costs in the medical/surgical services in general hospitals. This paper describes the Human Services Department's impact on social work and consultation-liaison psychiatry, using a data-based management system across five specialties: 1) social work; 2) consultation-liaison psychiatry; 3) supportive care (hospice); 4) home care (home health discharge planning); and 5) pastoral care, which offers opportunities for research and quality assurance monitoring. Time spent in service delivery was used to estimate the cost per hour; 1) pastoral care $96; 2) social work $36; 3) consultation-liaison psychiatry $59; 4) home care $49. Referral to social work was preferred for a range of family and discharge planning services. Consultation-liaison services were preferred for depression, paranoid behavior, and management problems. Referral overlap was noted for "coping with diagnosis" for social work and consultation-liaison psychiatry. Using a computerized data base format for documenting the referral process, work accomplished, and time spent among those services providing mental health care in the general hospital permits the observation of redundancy of services delivered and their costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-105
Number of pages11
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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