Predicting Psychiatric Emergency Admissions and Hospital Outcome

John S. Lyons*, John Stutesman, Janice Neme, John T. Vessey, Michael T. O'Mahoney, H. Joseph Camper

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES. A decision support tool for psychiatric hospital admissions was developed and validated to provide reliable, clinically relevant information to providers and case managers. METHODS. Using the Severity of Psychiatric Illness rating system, an empirical model of psychiatric emergency decision-making was constructed and validated on a spilt sample of 254 crisis cases. RESULTS. Three dimensions of the Severity of Psychiatric Illness system -Suicide Potential, Danger to Others, and Severity of Symptoms - were used to construct a model that successfully predicted 73% of decisions about level of care (inpatient or outpatient). Clear misses, patients with a 0.20 probability of being hospitalized who were admitted, and patients with an 0.80 probability or greater of being hospitalized who were not admitted were reviewed to allow for utilization review. This decision support tool then was validated by predicting hospital outcomes in two additional samples. First, a random sample of consecutive admissions to a not-for-profit psychiatric hospital were studied. Second, a panel of admissions from a large managed care firm were evaluated. CONCLUSIONS. Results demonstrate that the decision to hospitalize patients in psychiatric hospitals is rational and that models predicting admission also can predict in-hospital outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)792-800
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Care
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997


  • Decision support
  • Outcomes
  • Psychiatric hospital

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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