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

This Month's Article 

What is a Sentinel Event?

About Us

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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.  

Study Sheds Light On What The

We all know the statistics – that inpatients in mental health units are more likely to commit suicide. In fact, rates of suicide by current psychiatric inpatients greatly exceed those of the general community. A recent meta-analysis of studies published worldwide in the past 60 years estimated that current psychiatric in-patients had a pooled suicide rate of 147 suicides per 100,000 in-patient years. This figure is more than 12 times the global population suicide rates. It has recently been suggested that adverse experiences in psychiatric units such as trauma, stigma and loss of social role might precipitate some in-patient suicides.

There has also been a significant rise in in-patient suicide rates over recent decades. The pooled rate of in-patient suicides reported worldwide between 1960 and 1979 was 68 per 100,000 patient years, whereas the equivalent figure for suicides after 1999 was 646 per 100,000 in-patient years. This rate of suicide is almost 60 times the 2012 global suicide rate.

Looking further into the data helps us understand what we can do better to decrease the rate of suicides in inpatient facilities. Understandably, while many hospitals are progressing in safety measures, hospitals do not protect every patient from suicide. But some are doing better than others. For instance, in the UK between 1997 and 2007, there was a fall in inpatient suicide rates, which was associated with measures to improve ward safety.

Variation in in-patient suicide rates might also be explained by differences in the extent to which different wards protect patients from suicide. Differences in the therapeutic milieu, the built environment, levels of observation, containment policies and staffing ratios might all alter in-patient suicide rates. Such important studies show trends and provide data that are vital to our continued improvements in our inpatient facilities. It also further underscores the importance of the built environment and continued advances in our acute mental health units.

To read the entirety of this important study, 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 100% compliant with the guidelines set forth by the OMH.

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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