What are the possible types of admissions following a history and Mental Status Examination (MSE)?

Updated: Sep 24, 2020
  • Author: Jeffrey S Forrest, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Admission types

Note the following admission types:

  • Informal voluntary: These are patients admitted to the hospital but who are free to leave at any time, even against medical advice.

  • Formal voluntary: These are patients admitted to the hospital who can leave the hospital only when discharged by the physician. Requests to leave the hospital may be made by the patient, but they must be made in writing. During a specific period of time, the person is evaluated by the physician and is either released or committed (ie, changed to involuntary type of admission for further evaluation and treatment).

  • Involuntary: Patients not recognizing their need for hospitalization may be placed in the hospital to ensure the safety of themselves or others or because they are considered gravely disabled. Before patients are admitted under this type of admission, they are evaluated by a physician and, if deemed necessary, admitted for safety reasons. Patients are then evaluated by a second physician. Both physicians must agree to keep a patient in the hospital. The judicial system may place someone in the hospital for treatment, but generally, patients are kept in the hospital under the least restrictive measure to receive treatment. Patients do have the right to file a "writ of habeas corpus," a legal procedure to allow the courts to decide if a patient has been hospitalized without due process of law.

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