Psychiatry Consultation Line FAQs

The PCL offers prescribers from primary care clinics, community hospitals, emergency departments, substance use treatment programs and municipal and county jails the opportunity to consult with a UW Psychiatrist about adult patients (18+) with mental health issues or regarding general questions related to mental health and psychiatric care. The service is explicitly to provide “curbside consultation,” but the UW psychiatrist provides a brief, written summary of the recommendations sent to the calling provider via encrypted email. You reach the PCL by calling 877-WA-PSYCH (877-927-7924) 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To support providers in the community who are taking care of patients experiencing mental health conditions, including substance use disorders, by providing convenient access to consultation. Increased access to mental health care can lead to earlier diagnosis, improved adherence to evidence-based treatment, and better patient outcomes.

 

You reach the PCL by calling 877-WA-PSYCH (877-927-7924) 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

You may also email PCLWA@uw.edu to request a scheduled consultation. Please include your name, preferred day/time and a brief description of your question. To assist in your planning, the average consult takes about 15 minutes, including a brief intake with our navigator and time speaking with our psychiatrist.

Yes. When you reach the health navigator, you can request to schedule your consultation at a time that is convenient for you.

Prescribing health care providers in Washington State from:

  • primary care clinics
  • community hospitals and emergency departments
  • substance use treatment programs
  • county and municipal correctional facilities

Assessment, diagnosis and treatment planning, including medication management or other treatments.

Callers will be offered the option to transfer to the Partnership Access Line for child and adolescent psychiatry questions, or to the PAL for Moms line for perinatal psychiatry questions.

If you have never called the line before, the intake is primarily data collection and takes about 3-4 minutes to complete. If you have called the line before, the process will be quicker. Depending on call volumes, the psychiatrist may not be available right away. Our navigator will help you connect to the psychiatrist at a future time that is convenient for you.

The average consultation takes about 15 minutes, but you will get as much consultation as you need.

When you call 877-WA-PSYCH (877-927-7924), you will reach a UW health navigator for a short intake of information, including: the patient’s name, DOB, gender, city of residence, and Medicaid status, and any barriers the patient may face in accessing mental health or substance use disorder services. The navigator will then facilitate a warm handoff to the UW psychiatrist or schedule a phone call for a date/time in the future. At the conclusion of the conversation, the UW psychiatrist will send you written documentation of the recommendations via an email from PCLWA@uw.edu.

You don’t need to prepare anything in advance. The more history and information you have about the patient the better, but we will assist you using whatever information you have. For reporting purposes, it is helpful to know if the patient is on Medicaid and what city the patient lives in, but this is not required information.

Taking notes is not necessary, though you certainly may. At the conclusion of the conversation, the UW psychiatrist you spoke with will send you written documentation of the recommendations via an email from PCLWA@uw.edu.

There is no limit to how many times you can call the PCL. If you call more than once about the same patient, it is helpful for the navigator to know when you called before so we can refer to previous recommendations you may have been given.

The PCL is funded by the State of Washington and administered through the Washington State Health Care Authority.

If your patient is suicidal, homicidal, or otherwise at imminent risk, you should call the suicide hotline (800-273-8255), call 911, or refer the patient to an emergency room. The PCL is not a crisis or suicide hotline, is not a substitute for an emergency room, and cannot coordinate ER visits, psychiatric hospitalization or law enforcement intervention.

MedCon connects clinicians to specialty expertise in all clinical areas (not just psychiatry) at UW for educational and general informational purposes. Since no physician-patient relationship is established, the information provided should be viewed as education regarding a given medical condition. It does not constitute a formal medical consult or provision of medical services to a specific patient. The calling provider is responsible for the medical management and care of the individual patient. MedCon can also clarify whether your patient needs a referral, and operators will connect you with the appropriate UW School of Medicine faculty physician for a consult or to refer an elective patient to any UW Medicine entity.

To access MedCon: call 800-326-5300 (toll-free), or 206-520-9700, 24 hours a day, email MedCon (medcon@uw.edu).

PCL psychiatrists are currently are unable to:

  • Satisfy Single Bed Certification requirements
  • Find follow-up care, resources or assist with discharge planning
  • Provide a review of written records
  • Directly communicate with a patient or assume care of the patient (this capability may occur in the future)