Every clinical service must record certain data about its patient care activities. In low-volume services, such as Psychiatric Inpatient Services, with perhaps 20-30 admissions per month, and an average patient stay of 2-4 weeks, a large amount of data on each patient can be obtained during the contact time with the patient. On the other hand, very large-volume psychiatric services, such as Emergency and Consultation-Liaison (C-L) Services, may not need or be able to gather such a large amount of data on every patient seen. This article describes the development of a brief, optically scannable, and computerized minimal data base form for patients seen by a very large division of C-L Psychiatry. The system is feasible and easily auditable for completeness and reliability. This data base has already served many important functions beyond providing an administrative statistical summary of services rendered. It is presented as a model for the development of similarly efficient data collection methods for other high-volume psychiatric services.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health