Accreditation

CMS defines ligature risk in new memo

Briefings on Accreditation and Quality, March 1, 2018

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More guidance is on the way, but surveyors are already hunting for ligature deficiencies

When it comes to preventing patient suicides, CMS has not been idle. In December 2017, the agency expanded its definitions of ligature (hanging) risks and its expectations on suicide prevention. The changes are already in effect, and surveyors expect facilities to be compliant.

While not all ligature risks can be eliminated, CMS says, hospitals are expected to show how they identify patients at risk and the steps they are taking to minimize those risks.

The agency is currently working with healthcare organizations and patient safety groups to create more comprehensive ligature guidance. CMS said in December that it plans to have the update done in six months.

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