Title

Impact of Universal Suicide Risk Screening in a Pediatric Emergency Department: A Discrete Event Simulation Approach

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-1-2022

Journal

Healthcare informatics research

Volume

28

Issue

1

DOI

10.4258/hir.2022.28.1.25

Keywords

Computer Simulation; Emergency Department; Length of Stay; Mental Health; Suicide

Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to use discrete event simulation (DES) to model the impact of two universal suicide risk screening scenarios (emergency department [ED] and hospital-wide) on mean length of stay (LOS), wait times, and overflow of our secure patient care unit for patients being evaluated for a behavioral health complaint (BHC) in the ED of a large, academic children's hospital. Methods: We developed a conceptual model of BHC patient flow through the ED, incorporating anticipated system changes with both universal suicide risk screening scenarios. Retrospective site-specific patient tracking data from 2017 were used to generate model parameters and validate model output metrics with a random 50/50 split for derivation and validation data. RESULTS: The model predicted small increases (less than 1 hour) in LOS and wait times for our BHC patients in both universal screening scenarios. However, the days per year in which the ED experienced secure unit overflow increased (existing system: 52.9 days; 95% CI, 51.5-54.3 days; ED: 94.4 days; 95% CI, 92.6-96.2 days; and hospital-wide: 276.9 days; 95% CI, 274.8-279.0 days). Conclusions: The DES model predicted that implementation of either universal suicide risk screening scenario would not severely impact LOS or wait times for BHC patients in our ED. However, universal screening would greatly stress our existing ED capacity to care for BHC patients in secure, dedicated patient areas by creating more overflow.

Department

Pediatrics

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