Emergency Treatment and Discharge of Patients with Psychiatric and Social Problems

AAEM endorses the following points regarding the emergency treatment and discharge of patients with psychiatric and/or social problems:

  • AAEM believes that all ED patients should be discharged under conditions that are safe and account for their personal dignity.
  • AAEM encourages communities to establish effective options for persons in need that would enable them to avoid coming to emergency departments in crisis.
  • Emergency departments across the country and their staffs are proud to serve as a “Safety Net” for patients who have nowhere else to turn for help.
  • The most vulnerable members of our society have been severely impacted by cuts in medical, social, and psychiatric services. This has resulted in increases in emergency department patients with no other options.
  • Such patients often occupy ED beds for prolonged periods of time.
  • Emergency departments nationally are finding their capacity stretched beyond safe limits by increases in patients experiencing preventable crises.
  • Many emergency patients are finding that their care is often negatively impacted by increasingly longer waiting times and stressed ED resources.

Approved February 20, 2018