Australas Psychiatry. 2022 Nov 7:10398562221131160. doi: 10.1177/10398562221131160. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVES: To identify and characterise medical consultations to psychiatric inpatients.
METHOD: Retrospective cross-sectional descriptive study of 451 psychiatric inpatients’ electronic medical records between 1 January and 30 June 2021 with descriptive statistics.
RESULTS: Thirty one percent (n = 131) of inpatients required medical consultation, with 382 total consultations including ward call. Half (57.9%) were telephone advice. Main consulting specialties were general medicine (25%), anaesthetics (12%), neurology (9.9%), cardiology (6.5%) and endocrinology (6.2%). Almost all (99.0%) consultations resulted in documented management plans.
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first Australian descriptive study quantifying and characterising psychiatric inpatient consultation requests. Physical and psychiatric healthcare integration requires ongoing efforts, including improved referral pathways.