Safety

How to update your restraint and seclusion policy

Healthcare Life Safety Compliance, August 1, 2020

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What to look for when updating your restraint and seclusion policies

by Brian Ward

Restraint and seclusion (R&S) violations are never to be taken lightly, due to the inherent risk of harm to patients or staff. Your facility should regularly review and update its policies to avoid an angry visit from CMS—or from a grieving family.

Kevin Ann Huckshorn, PhD, MSN, RN, CADC, ICRC, a national behavioral health consultant with years of experience in hospital settings and now the director of evidence-based practices and programs for Wellpath Recovery Solutions, spoke to Healthcare Life Safety Compliance on how to keep your policy up to date.

Last resort

Your policy should explicitly state that R&S represents “emergency measures of last resort, to only be used in the face of imminent danger and to be halted as soon as possible, as soon as the person becomes calm,” Huckshorn says. R&S is dangerous, can be traumatizing for both patient and staff, and is not evidence-based practice, she adds.

“R&S should be avoided at all costs as part of the development of a trauma-informed system of care,” she says. “And there is a whole lot of practices that go into creating an environment of care that’s trauma informed and doesn’t use R&S. That’s why you want that statement ‘last resort‘ to be connected to R&S.”

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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