Study of innovations and heavy users of services and patients in suicidal crisis in the emergency department with a view to optimizing the adequacy of services for patients with mental disorders


Individuals with mental disorders are often considered “heavy users” of emergency services, contributing significantly to overcrowding. This project has four objectives: 1) to assess three innovations recently deployed at the Emergency Department of the Douglas Institute; 2) to better understand the determinants of emergency department use by different groups of heavy users or very heavy users; 3) to identify different user profiles among emergency department clients; 4) to examine whether patient prioritization at triage takes into account heavy users including those at risk for suicide and 5) to develop recommendations for improving services that better meet the needs of heavy emergency department users and particularly patients in crisis situations at risk of suicide. Three articles dealing with heavy emergency department users and patients with high risk of suicide (objectives 2 and 3) have already been submitted to scientific journals. Other publications destined for scientific and popular reviews and as conference presentations are currently in the preparation stages. This project will: a) improve emergency services for heavy users and patients in crisis involving suicide risk; b) optimize efficiency of the healthcare system, where emergency services serve as the barometer for quality health services in general; c) improve and disseminate knowledge on the determinants of service use, profiles of heavy users and patients with suicide risk and on best practices to deploy in emergencies; and d) implement recommendations and relevant innovations known to optimize emergency services and endorsed by our research team that includes key decision-makers capable of achieving the intended results.