Aubrey Chan, MD, PhD, is first author of a detailed comparison of five different institutional approaches to providing inpatient care that integrates medical and psychiatric services, which appears in a recent issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. As the article makes clear, each institution sees this care model as beneficial for similar reasons, but establishes differing collaborative structures to provide it. The five institutions compared are University of Iowa Health Care, Columbia University, Hennepin County Medical Center, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, and Hackensack University Medical Center. Dr. Chan and his co-authors categorized the different approaches, including the administrative structures, that each of the five reviewed institutions take in an accompanying table.
The article is clear that though there were significant and discrete hurdles in establishing and maintaining the integrated services at each institution, the benefits realized are similar across the medical centers: decreased lengths of stay, fewer unreimbursed days, less constant supervision, and—most important—addressing all of a patient’s needs at the same time. “We hope that the success of these 5 institutions, in terms of both finances and staff and patient satisfaction, helps motivate other institutions that are thinking of establishing an integrated unit,” the article concludes.
Dr. Chan will complete his fifth and final year of the Internal Medicine-Psychiatry Residency next month. His co-authors include members of the other reviewed institutions and Gen Shinozaki, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry.