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Co-located perinatal psychiatry clinic: impact of adding a psychologist on clinical quality improvement metrics. J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol 2019 Jun;40(2):123-127



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Purpose: To describe the impact of adding a psychologist (the intervention) to a co-located perinatal psychiatry clinic (PPC) in terms of effects on clinical quality improvement (QI) metrics. Methods: Six-month pre- and postintervention study design with measurement of QI metrics: number of unique patients treated; number of new and established visits; percent no-shows for new and established visits; and mean wait time to new visit. Results: Number of unique patients treated by the psychiatrist increased by 30%, from 90 preintervention to 118 postintervention (p = .06). Total number of visits completed by the psychiatrist increased by 20% from 174 preintervention to 208 postintervention. Mean wait time for new visits for a physician decreased from 20 days preintervention to 14 days postintervention, with a mean difference of 6.4 days (p = .0015). Percentage of no-shows for new visits increased slightly from 23% preintervention to 26% postintervention (p = .72). The percentage of no-shows for established visits decreased significantly from 22% preintervention to 10% postintervention (p < .005). Conclusions: By adding a psychologist to the co-located PPC, we improved quality of perinatal mental health care by improving efficiency, timeliness and patient-centered care. The psychiatrist saw a greater number of unique patients, decreased wait time to new visits and decreased no-show rates for established visits, likely by better matching patient needs with provider services. A psychologist could be a valuable addition to a PPC, given the shortage of psychiatrists in the United States.

Author List

Pawar D, Huang CC, Wichman C


Deepa S. Pawar MD Assistant Professor in the Psychiatry department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Christina L. Wichman DO Professor in the Psychiatry department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Mental Disorders
Mental Health Services
Patient-Centered Care
Perinatal Care
Pregnancy Complications
Quality Improvement