Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 31–37 | Cite as

The Impact of Designated Behavioral Health Services on Resource Utilization and Quality of Care in Patients Requiring Constant Observation in a General Hospital Setting: A Quality Improvement Project

  • Aaron Pinkhasov
  • Deepan SinghEmail author
  • Sridivya Chavali
  • Lori Legrand
  • Rose Calixte
Original Paper


Constant observation (CO) is a common economic burden on general hospitals. A quality improvement (QI) project focusing on behavioral health (BH) management of this population was piloted using a novel BH protocol for the proactive assessment and management of all patients requiring CO. The impact on CO-cost and length of stay (LOS) was assessed. Data on demographics, diagnoses, psychopharmacologic treatment, complications and clinical setting were collected and analyzed for all CO-patients over a 6-month period. Cost and LOS data were compared with a similar sequential group prior to project implementation. Out of the 533 patients requiring CO during the study period, 491 underwent the protocol. This QI-project resulted in a significant reduction in the average monthly CO-cost by 33.06% and a 15% reduction in LOS without any increase in complications.


Constant observation General hospital Psychiatry consultation and liaison service Hospital length of stay One-to-one observation Cognitive impairment 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research Involving Human Participants and/or Animals

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors. This quality improvement (QI) project met SQUIRE 2.0 standards and was IRB exempt (Ogrinc et al. 2015).

Informed Consent

Informed consent was not required to be obtained from any individual participants included in the study as it med SQUIRE 2.0 guidelines for a quality improvement study (Ogrinc et al. 2015). No identifying information about participants is available in the article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Behavioral HealthNYU Winthrop HospitalMineolaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry, School of MedicineSUNY Stony BrookStony BrookUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiostatisticsNYU Winthrop HospitalMineolaUSA

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