Continuity of care for the 18-year-old male who told Dr. Lillian M. Beard about his depression requires collaboration with colleagues, but coordinating that care takes resources. Who is in charge of ensuring care?
“This is where teams come in,” says Dr. April Barbour, associate professor of medicine and chief of general internal medicine George Washington University, Washington. “Because it doesn’t necessarily need to be the psychiatrist. A discharge coordinator could serve that role and send that information back.”
“I agree. And then we come back to the next thing: Who’s going to pay for the team? Who’s going to manage the team? Also, the other thing – with any team, someone’s got to be the quarterback – someone has to make sure or verify that it happened,” says Dr. Lorenzo Norris, cohost of Mental Health Consult, and assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at George Washington University.
“When you are treating mental illness, you need a team-based approach so that you can look at everything that is going on. If you are strictly algorithmic based, there are going to be fatal errors,” Dr. Norris says. “It doesn’t reduce down to that level.”