Implementation of a Transitional Psychiatric Process in a Psychiatric Inpatient Facility

Date of Degree


Document Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Anna Tabet


Background: Intensive Outpatient and Partial Hospitalization programs help build the transitional gap inpatient facilities' experience by using patient-centered approaches in cross-continuum teams. A transitional psychiatric checklist was designed based on the psychiatric inpatient facility’s needs to improve inpatient screenings and to increase transitional care admissions to the outpatient units. The project coordinator developed eligibility algorithms designed to complement the transitional care that the hospital has in place. Aims of the Project: Reduce inpatient re-hospitalizations, increase outpatient admissions, and provide a smooth outpatient transition for inpatients who are being discharged; by evaluating patients using a transitional psychiatric checklist. Purpose: Using a transitional psychiatric checklist, implement a process to improve inpatient screenings, increase transitional care admissions to the facility’s outpatient clinic, and decrease adult patient readmission rates. Methods: Using a site-specific checklist that allowed staff to screen eligible patients and refer them to the facility’s outpatient clinic based on specific criteria. This project created algorithms to guide nurses and case managers on the checklist. Based on the checklist responses, the staff made appropriate referrals to the outpatient clinic. Outcomes: This year, the outpatient behavioral clinic increased its eligible admissions by 67% compared to last year. They raised their referrals from the inpatient unit by 25% compared to the previous year. Out of 74 admitted patients, readmission rates were 0%. Implications for Practice: Providers should be able to identify premature discharges and coordinate transitional care accordingly within the facility. Providers will determine treatment based on the checklist and the American Psychological Association guidelines.

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