A monitor for the emergency psychiatric service chain
background Many organisations are involved in the delivery of psychiatric emergency care to patients in crisis. We therefore refer to these organisations as the Psychiatric Emergency Chain (pec). The quality of the pec determines the quality of the psychiatric emergency care in a region. In order to measure the quality of this type of care a monitor has been developed in collaboration with the main stakeholders in the region Western North Brabant (wnb).
aim To develop a monitor to measure the quality of a pec in a region, identify weak spots in the chain and feed back the results to the chain.
method By searching the literature, studying the primary process in the chain and by having interviews with stakeholders we compiled a questionnaire for monitoring the pec. The monitor was tested in the wnb region and adjusted on the basis of experiences with the respondents. Then the monitor was generalised and tested in another region (Eindhoven and the Kempen) in order to find out whether this instrument might also be applicable to other pecs in the Netherlands.
results The monitor provided the pec with a common language for evaluating the chain. The monitor was able to pinpoint particular weak spots and collaboration problems such as the response time required to reach the emergency, communication between and within organisations and domain discussions between different stakeholders. Chain partners used the results of the monitor to negotiate better collaborative agreements and to improve their care. conclusion The monitor is able to pinpoint problem areas in the pec and subsequently to generate feedback to its stakeholders. This creates opportunities for improvement in the pec. Therefore the monitor is a useful instrument for evaluating a local pec periodically.