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.
|How to Get Where We Want to Be:
THERE'S NO 911 FOR A MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS
In the article, How to Get Where We Want to Be, president and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health, Linda Rosenberg discusses how far we’ve come and what progress remains to be made to address the recovery and treatment of those in crisis.
Since the late 70s, mental health professionals have discovered that it is more effective and less traumatic to keep suicidal persons out of places where they can often end up if not treated properly - emergency rooms or jail. Community-based services for people in crisis are crucial to preventing suicides and keeping track of patients’ progress.
Suicide attempt survivor and person in recovery, Bart Andrews, PhD, created and implemented the first suicide follow-up program in the State of Missouri. Andrews has dedicated the last 17 years of this life to suicide and crisis intervention and believes “suicide is a community health problem, and everyone can help.”
BHR diverts 90 percent of the most troubled from emergency rooms and hospitals to effective community treatments. The Center for Health Care Services in San Antonio has diverted almost 100,000 people into treatment programs since 2008, saving taxpayers an estimated 50 million. Though this shows progress, there are still too many people in crisis who wind up in the wrong places with inadequate care and little follow-up or get no care at all.
Rosenberg states: “It is our job to continue to educate the public that a ‘crisis’ in the context of an addiction or mental illness should be treated in the same urgency as a physical ailment. There is one major difference though. While a broken leg can be patched up in a matter of hours at a hospital, a mental illness requires extensive follow-up and is far more expensive.”
Rosenberg gives us “big data” to help us know which interventions work in behavioral health, as we are constantly trying to better our practices based on evidence. “The Nobel-Prize-winning economists’s groundbreaking research in 2016 on this topic gave us a better picture of who is most likely to overdose on drugs and alcohol or complete suicide. Surprisingly, even to behavioral health professionals, they’re white, middle-aged, working-class men.”
For the past three years, 11 states have increased spending on mental health, including crisis services. One of them is Colorado, where a gunman in Aurora killed 12 and wounded 70 in a movie theater in 2012. Rosenberg states: “We can turn these tragedies into positives by taking advantage of the light they shine on people in crisis and the shortcomings of our treatment systems.”
For more information on this article and others published by the National Council of Behavioral Health, 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