Date of Award


Degree Name

Healthcare Administration


College of Business

Type of Degree


Document Type

Research Paper

First Advisor

Alberto Coustasse


Introduction: Boarding of pediatric psychiatric patients in emergency departments and inpatient medical units while awaiting placement in psychiatric facilities was common before the COVID-19 pandemic and was associated with significant hospital cost. The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a mental health crisis in the pediatric population. This study looked at the how the COVID-19 pandemic affected pediatric psychiatric boarding and the effects of pediatric psychiatric boarding on hospital finances.

Methodology: The methodology of this study utilized a literature review with semi-structured interviews of local subject matter experts. The literature review analyzed the effects of the COVID-19 precipitated pediatric mental health crisis on pediatric psychiatric boarding and the financial effects of psychiatric boarding on children’s hospitals.

Results: Pediatric psychiatric boarding during COVID-19 was majority due to COVID-related stressors. There is mixed evidence for the number of pediatric psychiatric boarding admissions to emergency departments and general inpatient units during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is also mixed evidence regarding length of stay for pediatric boarding patients. Limited data was found regarding hospital cost and reimbursement for pediatric psychiatric boarding during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Discussion/Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent pediatric mental health crisis had a significant impact on pediatric psychiatric boarding. More studies are needed to determine the extent of the financial effects of COVID-19 due to pediatric psychiatric boarding.


Health services administration.

Health facilities -- Business management.

COVID-19 (Disease) -- Patients.

Child psychiatry.

Tran-Patricia-2022-References.pdf (555 kB)
References and Appendices