Poor follow-up with depressed patients linked to readmissions

A quarter of Ontarians (25 percent) hospitalized for depression boomeranged back to the hospital with an emergency room visit or readmission within 30 days, according to a new study published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. Researchers found that 63 percent of hospitalized patients diagnosed with depression did not see a physician within a month of discharge, and one-third did not receive follow-up care.

"It is the way that health care providers work together that needs improvement. Hospitals, general practitioners, family health teams and other community partners need to be better coordinated, so that patients receive appropriate care before another hospital stay--or use of emergency services becomes necessary," said Dr. Elizabeth Lin, scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health's Social and Epidemiological Research Department, in a press release. Press release

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