What providers can do this National Suicide Prevention Week

By Christine Falcone, Quality director, Riddle Hospital

National Suicide Prevention Week –September 10-16 – is a time for physicians, nurses, and other providers to learn more about how their healthcare organizations can help suicidal patients.

In 2013, 9.3 million adults had suicidal thoughts, 1.3 million attempted suicide, and 41,149 died. Even more worrying is that the rate of suicides has increased 24% between 1999 and 2014.

As of March 2017, Joint Commission surveyors have been putting special focus on suicide, self-harm, and ligature observations in psychiatric units and hospitals. Surveyors are documenting all observations of self-harm risks, and evaluating our current work.

Recently, MLH Quality and Patient Safety teams have conducted Failure Modes Effects Analyses related to suicide risk to identify potential risks and develop mitigation plans. As part of that work, we have revised our policies and procedures, conducted an extensive environmental assessment, and devised a new environmental checklist to mitigate potential risks.

Included in the new checklist, we have

  • Identified these risks before a patient is placed
  • Developed plans to deal with the risks inherent in our environment
  • Planned a rollout of a message map to staff related to the new environmental checklist and policy and procedure.

If you see risks, please share with your campus patient safety and quality team.

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