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FACT FILE: Update on Virginia’s psychiatric bed registry

July 25, 2014
by Julie Miller
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BACKGROUND: In April, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed legislation to create a registry—updated in real time—to track available psychiatric beds for patients under custody orders. The registry had been proposed a decade ago, but it wasn’t until State Senator R. Creigh Deeds lost his son to suicide that the plan moved into implementation. The registry went live in early March.

WHAT HAPPENED: State officials reported this week that the registry is being updated once a day, rather than in real time, as intended. According to the Washington Post, most of the 67 hospitals providing information are updating the list more frequently than once a day, but not all.

THE IMPACT: Custody orders in Virginia expire in six hours, so real-time updates could make a difference in an emergency situation. According to the Post, between January and April 2014, Virginia clinicians could not find a psychiatric bed within six hours in 37 cases.

Read the Washington Post article here.

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