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US Patent # RE42,991 & RE44,039 March 2018 
In This Issue

This Month's Article 

What is a Sentinel Event?

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What is a Sentinel Event? 

The Joint Commission defines sentinel events as occurrences to patients in medical facilities “…involving death or serious physical or psychological injury, or the risk thereof." As you will note from the pie chart above, patient suicides are a comparatively frequent sentinel event identified by The Joint Commission. The Door SwitchTM was developed to mitigate the most common method of suicide employed in medical facilities—hanging using a door as a ligature point.

Please visit The Joint Commission for more information on sentinel events.

About Us 

The Door SwitchTM is the original top-of-the door ligature attempt warning system and holds U.S. Patents RE 42,991 and RE 44,039. We have been serving mental health professionals since 2006.

Each Door SwitchTM is a pressure sensor activated by approximately one to two pounds of downward pressure applied to the top, rather than the face (front or back surfaces), of the door. With system activation at the top of the door, ligature devices applied from either side of the door result in system alerts. Hospital staff are notified of system alerts by a combination of audible alarms, strobes, and door identification provided at a keypad typically located at a nurses’ station. The system utilizes proven Honeywell electronic components, including the Honeywell Vista 128BPT panel as the controller.

The Honeywell Vista 128BPT control panel provides an event log that records the times and dates of 512 events. The controller records the application of pressure to one of the system’s Door SwitchesTM, the removal of that pressure, and the turning of a key switch to silence the alarm. Logged events can be viewed from the keypad or downloaded to a computer and printed.

The Door SwitchTM has been installed in mental health facilities across the country. We are proud to state that we have many satisfied mental health facility clients and can provide you with their contact information for reference purposes.

For additional information, a demonstration of The Door SwitchTM, or a free quote, please call or email us.  

Joint Commission Gives Eight Steps  Shines Spotlight 


Due to the growing concern of suicides in health care settings, The Joint Commission continues to provide the health care community with resources.  

Ana Pujols McKee, M.D., executive vice president and chief medical officer for the Joint Commission stated: "We are shining a light on this issue because the tragic reality is that many health care providers do not detect suicidal thoughts of individuals who eventually die by suicide, even though most victims of suicide received health care services in the year prior to death. As a result, it is crucial for at-risk patients to receive timely and supportive care.”

Nancy Foster, the vice president for quality and patient safety policy at the American Hospital Association, notes that though suicidal thoughts may not be the leading factor of why patients come to the hospital, it does still need to be addressed and remarks that the busyness of hospitals can overshadow this need.   

In order to fix this and give hospitals more resources and a proactive plan, the Joint Commission offers hospitals eight steps their clinicians can take to detect suicidal patients, in both acute and non-acute care settings:

1. Review each patient’s personal and family medical history for suicide risk factors.

2. Screen all patients for suicide ideation, using a brief, standardized, evidence-based screening tool.

3. Review screening questionnaires before the patient leaves the appointment or is discharged.

4. Take the following actions, using assessment results to inform the level of safety measures needed:

a. Keep patients in acute suicidal crisis in a safe health care environment under one-to-one observation.

b. For patients at lower risk of suicide, make personal and direct referrals and linkages to outpatient behavioral health and other providers to follow-up care within one week of initial assessment.

c. For all patients with suicide ideation: give them a number to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-TALK), conduct safety planning and restrict access to lethal means.

5. Establish a collaborative, ongoing and systematic assessment and treatment process with the patient involving the patient’s other providers, family and friends as appropriate.

6. To improve outcomes for at-risk patients, develop treatment and discharge plans that directly target suicide risk.

7. Educate all staff in patient care settings about how to identify and respond to patients with suicide ideation.

8. Document decisions regarding the care and referral of patients with suicide risk.

To read this entire article, click here.

The Door Switch wants to continue the fight for more awareness and provide additional resources to dispel the myths about mental health issues and solutions for safety issues. We also continue to strive to provide a product that keeps the hospital environment safe. We continue to be committed to better practices and procedures in mental health community. For information concerning our safety product, please
click here


The Door SwitchTM  



The Door SwitchTM 
11772 Westline Industrial Drive
St. Louis MO 63146

(877) 998-5625 toll free

US Patent No. RE42,991 and RE44,039

 US Patent No. RE42,991 & RE44,039                                                                                    

11772 Westline Industrial Drive
Saint Louis, MO 63146
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