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The psychiatric emergency service holding area: effect on utilization of inpatient resources
Am J Psychiatry 1989;146:369-372.
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Abstract

This study compared the rates of hospitalization from two psychiatric emergency services which were similar except that one service had an extended evaluation unit, or holding area, allowing up to 24 hours of evaluation. The rate of hospitalization from the service with the extended evaluation unit was 36%; the rate from the other service was 52%. The difference in admission rates was related to the availability of the extended evaluation unit, which made it possible for many patients to avoid rather than merely postpone admission to the hospital. Clinical determinants of admission and of successful treatment in the unit were also reviewed.

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