Emergency Psych Task Force

The Emergency Psych Task Force is an ongoing and unique collaboration between the Wisconsin Psychiatric Association and the Wisconsin Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians whose aim is to address issues pertaining to quality of care, patient safety, and to be a primary source of subject matter expertise to elected officials, those with policy oversight, and other stakeholders.

As its first work product, the task force created a white paper, "'Medical Clearance' of Patients With Acute Mental Health Needs in the Emergency Department: A Literature Review and Practice Recommendations," which was published in WMJ (Jan. 2020). The white paper addresses the complexities of assessing the medical stability of patients presenting to emergency departments with acute mental illness, and aims to simply and expedite the medical evaluation of patients requiring admission to inpatient psychiatric facilities. 

Coinciding with the white paper, the task force developed a SMART form for working with patients in crisis.


Advances in Medical Stabilization for Psychiatric Patients in the Emergency Department
Webinar Recording (Oct. 19, 2020)


In Fall 2019, members of the Task Force met with staff from Wisconsin Attorney General (AG) Josh Kaul’s office to discuss the issue of emergency detention and how it impacts physicians and patients. The meeting was held in preparation of the AG's Annual Summit, a gathering of key stakeholders from across the state including representatives from the law enforcement, county administration and health care communities. The 2019 summit included discussions on emergency and civil commitments. 

For more information on the mission and purpose of the Emergency Psych Task Force, please view this one-page overview.