Safety

Joint Commission issues suggestions for reducing suicides in healthcare

Healthcare Life Safety Compliance, January 1, 2018

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Healthcare Life Safety Compliance.

It appears that The Joint Commission is making good on its pledge to help reduce the number of suicides and suicide attempts in U.S. hospitals.

Following an acknowledgement that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death, claiming more lives than traffic accidents and more than twice as many as homicides, the accreditor issued Sentinel Alert #56: Detecting and Treating Suicide Ideation in All Settings in February 2016 as a way of bringing attention to the problem.

As of March 1, 2016, The Joint Commission ordered its surveyors to immediately start placing more emphasis on the prevention of suicides in hospitals; the accreditor will start paying close attention especially to the assessment of potential ligature (hanging) injuries, suicide, and self-harm monitoring, particularly in psychiatric hospitals and inpatient psychiatric patient areas in general hospitals.

The added emphasis on suicide comes at a time of national concern about hospital suicides and was meant to dovetail with the “Zero Suicide” campaign, an effort by several national outreach groups to eliminate suicide in U.S. healthcare facilities, according to Joint Commission literature.

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Healthcare Life Safety Compliance.

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