Preventing Patient Suicide

by Expert Advice

Preventing Patient Suicide

by Expert Advice

by Expert Advice

EC News published an article on preventing patient suicide. They use the article to promote a new reference for sale by JCR. We normally skip discussion of these types of promotions. But, we feel this topic deserves an exception.

Preventing Patient Suicide

In fact, the suicide hazard issue in the physical environment is still a very hot topic. Plus, it’s one that many organizations have been slow to resolve. We continue to see hospitals hammered by TJC or CMS. Ligature hazards are being slowly eliminated but not yet completely eliminated. Preventing patient suicide requires a better approach.

First, too many organizations consider their anticipated due date for the next survey and design a timeline to complete elimination of hazards prior to that date. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always work:

  • TJC may come early
  • They may come based on a complaint
  • CMS may come based on a complaint or an actual event

Second, when this occurs, the findings can be very damaging.

This article contains a grid or table of frequent hazards in the behavioral health environment. It also includes recommendations on how to manage the hazard. Again, this is accomplished through elimination or documentation on the risk assessment and appropriate supervision of patients.

We suggest readers use this as a reminder to accelerate their construction timeline and verify that your environmental risk assessment includes an acceptable mitigation strategy.

As a reminder, stating that renovations will occur in 2020 or 2021 is not an acceptable mitigation strategy. You must keep patients kept safe until then. Furthermore, TJC and CMS have both agreed that the behavioral health bedrooms and bathrooms have to be ligature resistant.

Patton Healthcare Consulting

Patton Healthcare Consulting provides Joint Commission Compliance Assistance and a full range of pre-survey and post survey services including patient suicide prevention assessments.

Contact our office at 888-742-4621, via email or through our website contact page to schedule a discussion of your needs and learn more about our compliance and readiness expertise.

Patton Healthcare Consulting provides Joint Commission Compliance Assistance and a full range of pre-survey and post survey services including patient suicide prevention.

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