Poster Title

Mental Health Distress Recognition and Continual Assessment of Inpatients in Kentucky Hospitals: A Quality Improvement Project

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Nursing, BSN

Minor

Biology

2nd Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

2nd Student Major

Nursing, BSN

3rd Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

3rd Student Major

Nursing, BSN

4th Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

4th Student Major

Nursing, BSN

5th Student Major

Nursing, BSN

Institution

Morehead State University

KY House District #

70

KY Senate District #

27

Department

Department of Nursing

Abstract

Mental Health Distress Recognition and Continual Assessment of Inpatients in Kentucky Hospitals: A Quality Improvement Project

Gabrielle Merrill, Student

Faculty Mentor: Mrs. Suzi White MSN, PHCNS-BC

A lack of mental healthcare accessibility is among the top health disparities plaguing the Commonwealth. Data derived from the 2018 America’s Health Ranking Report states that Kentucky is currently ranked 49th in the nation for mental health well-being, tagged with the second highest rates of depression. A study conducted in a rural Texas community from 2006 to 2014 concluded that 30 community members committed suicide within 72 hours following hospital discharge, 24 of which were committed within just 24 hours. Texas is currently ranked 39th for mental health well-being of citizens, 10 rankings better than that of Kentucky. Why were risk factors associated with the mental distress of these patients not recognized? A literature review, composed of 25 studies on the topic of mental health assessment during hospitalizations, revealed a shocking truth that was also observed first-hand through clinical experiences in a local facility…continual assessment of mental health status during hospitalizations is simply not occurring.

The USPTF recommends an initial mental health assessment upon admission, however, no guidelines are currently set into practice that suggest a continual assessment. Hospitalization periods carry an unrecognized opportunity to identify risk factors related to mental distress. Our proposed intervention to this clinical deficiency was the development of a comprehensive and time effective mental health screening tool to be utilized during routine shift assessments for continual monitoring. The screening tool developed was based upon research conducted on the efficiency, specificity, and ease of administration of established screening tools related to mental distress and associated risk factors. This intervention was then piloted for effectiveness amongst registered-nurses of a Medical Surgical unit in a Central Kentucky facility.It is our hope that this quality improvement intervention will increase recognition of mental distress risk factors and treatment prior to discharge, elevating the mental well-being of the Commonwealth.

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Mental Health Distress Recognition and Continual Assessment of Inpatients in Kentucky Hospitals: A Quality Improvement Project

Mental Health Distress Recognition and Continual Assessment of Inpatients in Kentucky Hospitals: A Quality Improvement Project

Gabrielle Merrill, Student

Faculty Mentor: Mrs. Suzi White MSN, PHCNS-BC

A lack of mental healthcare accessibility is among the top health disparities plaguing the Commonwealth. Data derived from the 2018 America’s Health Ranking Report states that Kentucky is currently ranked 49th in the nation for mental health well-being, tagged with the second highest rates of depression. A study conducted in a rural Texas community from 2006 to 2014 concluded that 30 community members committed suicide within 72 hours following hospital discharge, 24 of which were committed within just 24 hours. Texas is currently ranked 39th for mental health well-being of citizens, 10 rankings better than that of Kentucky. Why were risk factors associated with the mental distress of these patients not recognized? A literature review, composed of 25 studies on the topic of mental health assessment during hospitalizations, revealed a shocking truth that was also observed first-hand through clinical experiences in a local facility…continual assessment of mental health status during hospitalizations is simply not occurring.

The USPTF recommends an initial mental health assessment upon admission, however, no guidelines are currently set into practice that suggest a continual assessment. Hospitalization periods carry an unrecognized opportunity to identify risk factors related to mental distress. Our proposed intervention to this clinical deficiency was the development of a comprehensive and time effective mental health screening tool to be utilized during routine shift assessments for continual monitoring. The screening tool developed was based upon research conducted on the efficiency, specificity, and ease of administration of established screening tools related to mental distress and associated risk factors. This intervention was then piloted for effectiveness amongst registered-nurses of a Medical Surgical unit in a Central Kentucky facility.It is our hope that this quality improvement intervention will increase recognition of mental distress risk factors and treatment prior to discharge, elevating the mental well-being of the Commonwealth.