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.
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.
|New Study Sheds Light on
Actual Number of Suicides In Inpatient Facilities
Five new stats about suicides in hospitals published late last year (September 2018) sheds light on the actual number of suicides that occur in inpatient facilities. It’s long been reported that 1500 suicides occurred per year. This study, the first of its kind, reports suicides far lower than that number.
About 49 to 65 suicides in hospital inpatient units happen annually in the U.S., with most of them occurring among psychiatric inpatients, a study published in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety found.
"The Joint Commission is improving its methods for analyzing inpatient suicides to collect more detailed information so we can provide better guidance on how hospitals can mitigate suicide risk more effectively," said study author Scott Williams, director of the research department for the Joint Commission.
To create an evidence-based estimate of the number of hospital inpatient suicides, the study analyzed national data sets, including the CDC's national violent death reporting system data for 2014 to 2015 and the Joint Commission's sentinel event database from 2010 to 2017.
Here are the five statistics on hospital inpatients suicides, according to the study:
1. The finding that about 49 to 65 hospital inpatient suicides happen annually in the U.S. is far lower than the widely cited estimate of 1,500 each year, the Joint Commission said. Of these suicides, 75 percent to 80 percent were among psychiatric inpatients.
2. The study found estimated suicide rates were 3.2 per 100,000 psychiatric inpatient admissions and 0.03 per 100,000 non-psychiatric inpatients.
3. In both databases, hanging accounted for over 70 percent of suicides.
4. About half of suicides occurred in a hospital bathroom, one-third in a bedroom and the remainder in a closet (4 percent), shower (4 percent) or other location (8 percent).
5. The most commonly used fixture point was a door, door handle or door hinge (53.8 percent).
For more information about these stats and the publisher, 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