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US Patent # RE42,991 & RE44,039 July 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.  

Veterans At Risk After Discharge: What Can We Do?


Mike Richman with the VA Communications Centers concludes some interesting findings in his article about pre-suicide contact with mental healthcare among veterans and soldiers.

Veterans account for about 20 percent of the more than 40,000 people who commit suicide. This particular study looked at 569 Army soldiers who died from suicide in a recent 5-year period. The study confirms that about 50 percent of the soldiers accessed health care in the month before their death and about 25 percent in the week prior. Most visits were in a mental health unit.

This study suggests that opportunities exist to intervene. So what can we do? First there are warning signs we can monitor. These include the following:

1.) Significant agitation
2.) A dramatic increase or decrease in alcohol and substance abuse
3.) Social withdrawal
4.) Eye blinking

Another report reviewed the clinical reports of death by suicide within 7 days of discharge from all VA mental health units from 2002 to 2015. Of the 141 reports of suicide during that period, 43 percent (61) of which followed an unplanned discharge. That means the discharge occurred against medical advice or the patient unexpectedly requested to move up the discharge after it was scheduled for a later time. The study shows that inpatient teams should be aware of the "potentially heightened risk" for suicide in patients taking an unplanned discharge.

Riblet, director of the study, states: "Our findings suggest that even when—and especially when—patients leave inpatient psychiatric care precipitously or against our advice, we still need to do everything we can to arrange a solid follow-up plan. This may require some continued work around follow-up planning and communication with patients in the hours and days following an unplanned discharge."

Because the risk for suicide may be the greatest in the first few days after discharge, following up after discharge is essential. For a complete list of clinical practice guidelines, click here.

To read the full report  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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