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South Med J. 1985 Jul;78(7):827-32.

Inappropriate admissions to psychiatric wards.


Our seven clinical vignettes illustrate different mechanisms of inappropriate admissions to psychiatric wards and the circumstances and outcome of such admissions, with emphasis on the shared responsibility of psychiatric and nonpsychiatric physicians, the financial consequences, and the implications of such admissions on the profession's public image. Inappropriate admissions create undue tensions and demands on an already overworked psychiatric staff, and raise legitimate issues of quality of care, the need for clinical and administrative guidelines for consultation and transfer, the degree of communication between psychiatry and other specialties, and a host of psychodynamic considerations, somehow overlooked in recent years. The main issue in most cases is the level of communication between the psychiatric and nonpsychiatric camps. Clinical, epidemiologic, and actuarial studies are needed in this area.

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