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US Patent # RE42,991 & RE44,039 April 2019 
In This Issue

This Month's Article 

What is a Sentinel Event?

About Us

Contact Us

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.  

The Door Switch Published in the
Door Security & Safety Magazine 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: In their recent April 2019 edition of the Door Security and Safety Magazine, DHI centered its topics on creating safety and better behavioral health facilities.  DHI is an association proudly serving door security and safety professionals, and the dynamic companies they represent, in the non-residential construction industry.  Diana Oller wrote an article, titled Preventing Suidices in Behavioral Health Facilities.  In this article, she quotes a client who wished to remain anonymous on a real-life experience with the Door Switch product in a brief question and answer format.  

Q. How many Doors does your facility currently have covered with The Door Switch?

A. We currently have 22 doors covered with The Door Switch in our VA behavioral health unit.

Q. Why did your facility choose a top of the door alarm?

A. We had chosen a top of the door alarm to assist in ensuring the safety of the unit. We have a 34-bed unit and do 15-minute safety rounding on all patients, so there is plenty of time between checks for patients to potentially hurt themselves. This assists in mitigating some of the between-rounds concerns.

Q. How many attempted sentinel events have happened, by means of the top of the door, since the installation of The Door Switch?

A. Since installation of The Door Switch in 2016, we have had three attempts by the use of the top of the door (two in 2018).

Q. Can you describe what The Door Switch does, how it operates and the benefits it provides?

A. The Door Switch alerts staff immediately if there is something placed over the top of the door. An audible alarm will identify the hallway where an event is taking place, which sends our staff in a direction. A strobe light is placed above the top of the door which helps us identify the room immediately. The keyed lock cylinders, located outside of the room, have been painted to match the color of the amber lens on the strobe light. All staff have been trained on how to appropriately address concerns and the process for resetting the alarm.

The enabled event log will provide us documentation that will assist in identifying our high-risk patients. It will also create a time stamp showing when something was placed over the door, when the staff responded and when we turned off the hallway alarm. This provides us downloadable and printable reports, to keep on file.

For more information on this magazine and the DHI association, 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 Switch™ is referenced in the OMH Guidelines! Click below to view its recommendations.
See page 33 of the OHM official Patient Safety Standards Guidelines here.

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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