A subpopulation of individuals with serious mental health conditions makes repeated and frequent visits to emergency departments and psychiatric crisis centers. These so-called super utilizers often have financial problems and present with chronic or untreated comorbid psychiatric and substance use disorders.1 These patients are often well known to clinical staff and are sometimes colloquially labeled “frequent flyers.” A pejorative branding, “frequent flyers” are often assumed to be problem patients. In psychiatric settings, these patients are sometimes said to be “borderlines,” “drug seekers,” “malingerers,” or “treatment resistant.”
Joy M, Clement T, Sisti D. The Ethics of Behavioral Health Information Technology: Frequent Flyer Icons and Implicit Bias. JAMA. 2016;316(15):1539–1540. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.12534
Artificial Intelligence Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.