Jackson, MS – Facing a critical shortage of psychiatric beds with patients frequently waiting for days in the ED for psych disposition, the administration of ODB Hospital Systems in Jackson, MS recently traveled “outside the galaxy” for a solution to their ED’s psychiatric boarding issues. The unorthodox solution they discovered seemingly has the potential to completely eliminate this long-standing problem.
“On a recent trip to visit the Dagobah Hospital System,” remarked ODB Hospital CEO Russell Jones, “I encountered a man, simply named ‘O’Brien,’ who fashioned himself something called a ‘Jedi.’ We ended up chatting for a while and, eventually, we started talking about my hospital’s ED boarding problems. He was quite interested in a job and he quickly convinced me he was a perfect fit for our needs, especially after he waved his hand across my face and mumbled something like ‘I am the solution you are looking for.’”
According to most experts, the key to fixing ED psychiatric boarding, if money to establish enough inpatient psych beds or more robust outpatient resources isn’t an option, is to make sure patients with acute flares of mental illness are able to meaningfully contract for safety so they can be discharged. The goal is to keep them from harming themselves until they can get to an outpatient clinic environment. In addition, it is also necessary to weed out those trying to game the system and claim suicidality in order to get a place to stay. Early indications are that O’Brien’s unique ability to compel patients into contracting for safety, whether or not they were truly suicidal previously, has made him a high-demand resource for the cash-strapped hospital and state.
26 year old opiate addict James Carson related the following anecdote from his recent encounter with O’Brien: “I came in to the ER all wanting detox from my dope, but when there were no detox beds around ‘dey was gonna kick me out. I said I was, like, suicidal as I always do so they would need to admit me so I can get, you know, a sandwich, a bed, and cable TV. ‘Ol Jedi O’Brien comes in my room and waves his hand, mumbles somethin’ like ‘you will change your ways and are no longer suicidal,’ and suddenly I don’t feel like staying in no hospital or even using dope no more. And, you know what? I’m gonna clean up my act and go get a job.”
“Before O’Brien’s hire, we typically transferred 150 patients a month to the limited space available at psych hospitals with an average wait time of 2.4 days,” commented Mr. Jones, “Since his hire, we now send these patients home instead in an average of 2 hours. What a turnaround! And none have gone on to further harm themselves or even have had to come back to the ED”!
O’Brien’s work to limit ODB Hospital’s financial and medicolegal exposure has not gone unnoticed by politicians. O’Brien has been recently seen further honing his craft with physician-turned-Lieutenant Governor, Dr. Garth Sidius. All co-workers of Lt. Gov. Sidius have been quite complementary about this arrangement. In fact, there are rumors that Dr. Sidius will be running for governor in the near future as early polls have shown him with a 100% approval rating.