Impact of National Emergency Access Targets (NEAT) on Psychiatric Risk Assessment in Hospital Emergency Departments: Commentary on Research Study
- *Corresponding Author:
- E-mail: [email protected]
Hospital Emergency Departments (EDs) continue to experience increased presentation rates (Maumill, et al. 2013). To address this high level of need, National Emergency Access targets (NEAT) have been introduced across the world to increase throughput of patients and prevent ‘access block’ (waiting more than eight hours for treatment) (Chang, et al. 2010). As the demand for ED treatment has increased, so too has there been an increase in mental health-related presentations, and at a faster rate than other patients (Slade, et al. 2010). These presentation are more complex, require more resources and are time consuming in nature (Zun, 2012), but are still required to be seen within NEAT timeframes. This has the potential to impact clinical practice by ED mental health workers as they have less time with more patients to assess and treat.