This Joint Commission Sentinel Event Alert discusses the common miscommunications that can happen when a patient with suicidal ideation is transitioned between care teams as well as tips for higher quality hand-offs.
A multi-source collection of readings, tools, videos, and webinars to help you understand and implement Zero Suicide.
A concise explainer of the research base for the Transition element of the Zero Suicide approach.
The goal of this paper is to highlight key steps emergency department (ED) providers can take to establish continuity of care for patients at risk for suicide, and thereby, to substantially reduce the number of suicide deaths and suicide attempts that occur after discharge. The risk of suicide attempts and death is highest within the first 30 days after a person is discharged from an ED or inpatient psychiatric unit, yet as many as 70 percent of suicide attempt patients of all ages never attend their first outpatient appointment. Therefore, access to clinical interventions and continuity of care after discharge is critical for preventing suicide.
Boyer, C. A., McAlpine, D. D., Pottick, K. J., & Olfson, M. (2000). Identifying risk factors and key strategies in linkage to outpatient psychiatric care. American Journal of Psychiatry, 157(10), 1592-1598.
Luxton, D. D., June, J. D., & Comtois, K. A. (2013). Can postdischarge follow-up contacts prevent suicide and suicidal behavior? A review of the evidence. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 34(1), 32.
This comprehensive report authored by David Knesper, M.D., Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, offers recommendations for the ongoing care of patients at risk for suicide who have been treated in emergency departments and hospitals. It includes ten principles for improved continuity of care, and provides real-world examples of seven integrated systems of care in the U.S. and Europe. Other key recommendations for practice and research address: targeting high-risk individuals; improving education and training for suicide risk assessment; responding to patients who have become disengaged from treatment; coordinating care; and improving infrastructure to provide continuity of care.
These comprehensive guidelines outline a framework for structured assessment of adults suspected to be at risk of suicide and the immediate and long-term management and treatment that should follow if an individual is found to be at risk. A summary version is available at this link: http://www.healthquality.va.gov/guidelines/MH/srb/VASuicideAssessmentSummaryPRINT.pdf
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