Safety

How to design your units to keep alert for ligature and suicide risks

Healthcare Life Safety Compliance, January 1, 2019

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There’s been a lot of talk lately about ligature and suicide prevention in hospitals, especially as The Joint Commission and other accreditation agencies have passed sweeping (and often confusing) standards to help crack down on patients harming themselves or taking their own lives.

The issue goes back to February 2016, when The Joint Commission, in acknowledgment of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics showing suicide as the 10th leading cause of death, issued Sentinel Alert #56: Detecting and Treating Suicide Ideation in All Settings as a call to action.

The CDC reports that the suicide rate has increased more than 25% nationwide from 1999 to 2016. According to the agency, suicide now claims more than 40,000 U.S. lives a year. Furthermore, the CDC found that 54% of those who died by suicide in that period had not been diagnosed with a mental health condition. The most recent data published by the National Violent Death Reporting System reveals that, in 2015, 83 suicides occurred in medical facilities.

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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