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US Patent # RE42,991 & RE44,039 October 2017 
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.  

Five High Risk Factors for Inpatient Suicide


In a recent study titled, Five High-risk Factors for Inpatient Suicide, Di Huang et al discovered five main themes that related to inpatient suicide. From 2008-2014, researchers collected data from 30 suicide victims who either committed suicide or attempted to commit suicide during their hospital stays in general hospitals. They also interviewed 6 medical staff whom had experienced inpatient suicide.

The five main themes regarding high risk factors for inpatient suicide were mental disorders, diseases, the source of money to meet medical expenses, social support, and the hospital environment. This study was conducted to attempt to provide a theoretical basis for the cause of inpatient suicide. The range of themes and causes is what makes this a difficult problem to solve. From the lack social support to the dangerous hospital environment, inpatient suicide high risk factors varied widely.

Inpatient suicide is typically defined as the suicide of registered inpatients within psychiatric facilities or while on approved or unapproved leave. Some studies have suggested that the risk factors for inpatient suicide might be different from those for suicide in the general population. This study leans toward that finding.

Compared to the numerous studies that have concentrated on patients in mental hospital settings, patients who commit or attempt suicide in general hospitals have received considerably less attention in the medical literature. Therefore, we should give more attention to inpatient suicide and identify the risk factors for inpatient suicide rather than the common causes among the general population. Although the suicide rate is not that high among inpatients, such suicides cause great harm. Inpatient suicide can not only adversely affect families but can also frequently causes medical disputes. Patient safety has been increasingly recognized as an important concern in hospital settings, and inpatient suicide is the second most common sentinel event (accounting for 12% of all sentinel events) according to the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations.

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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