Patient suicides continue to be a major concern in emergency departments. Here's why:
1.) Emergency physicians often receive insufficient training in behavioral emergencies.
2.) ED personnel are uncomfortable evaluating and treating these patients.
3.) ED staff may harbor negative attitudes toward behavioral health patients.
4.) Resources such as consultants and inpatient beds are lacking.
5.) The hectic ED environment can lead to iatrogenic escalation of psychiatric crises.
For emergency departments, however, the greatest risk and safety issue related to behavioral health is the appropriate evaluation and protection of the suicidal patient in the ED.
In a blog post by The Sullivan Group, 2 case studies give real world examples of these uncommon but preventable catastrophic events.
To read these case studies, click here.
What went wrong in each of these situations? No fewer than 4 things.
1.) Failure to adequately search the patient.
2.) Failure to place the patient in a secure, safe space for care.
3.) Failure to comply with one-to-one observation.
4.) Failure to properly assess a suicidal patient.
For additional resources click
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 the mental health community. For information concerning our safety product, please click here.