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Psychosomatics. 2018 Jan - Feb;59(1):67-74. doi: 10.1016/j.psym.2017.08.003. Epub 2017 Aug 10.

Characteristics of Patients With Constant Observers.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine, Honolulu, HI; Behavioral Health Division, The Queen's Medical Center, Honolulu, HI.
2
Department of Psychiatry, University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine, Honolulu, HI; Behavioral Health Division, The Queen's Medical Center, Honolulu, HI. Electronic address: goebertd@dop.hawaii.edu.
3
Behavioral Health Division, The Queen's Medical Center, Honolulu, HI.
4
Department of Psychiatry, University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine, Honolulu, HI.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The use of constant observers ("sitters") has been common practice in many medical centers to maintain patient safety.

RESULTS:

A retrospective chart review of patients who required sitters from October 1, 2007 to September 31, 2013 at a large, private hospital serving a multiethnic community showed that the top reasons for sitters include suicide risk, agitation, fall risk, interfering with medical devices, and confusion/disorientation. Sitters were used for a mean of 3.4 days ranging from 1 to 287 days, with a mean hospital length of stay of 18.9 days. Although 42.4% of all cases with sitters had a psychiatric consultation, psychiatry was consulted on only 8.5% of those with agitation, 6.3% of those who were disoriented, and 12.7% of those with decisional capacity concerns. Psychiatry was consulted on 87.4% of patients with a constant observer for suicide risks. Sitters were most often discontinued when behaviors improved or when patients were discharged.

CONCLUSION:

This information will be useful for understanding the optimal way to implement a program that will increase patient safety and decrease cost.

KEYWORDS:

Constant observer; Consultation-Liaison psychiatry; Epidemiology

PMID:
28935115
DOI:
10.1016/j.psym.2017.08.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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