Revisions to Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goal Addressing Suicide Prevention

PUBLISHED: Dec 6, 2018
Relevant to: Behavioral Health, Hospitals

The Joint Commission (TJC) has announced revisions to National Patient Safety Goal 15.01.01 - preventing suicide and improving at-risk patient care. These revisions become effective July 1, 2019 and are applicable to all TJC-accredited Hospitals and Behavioral Health organizations.

According to TJC, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in this country and there have been no improvements in suicide rates in the U.S. The new requirements are intended to improve the safety and quality of care for individuals being treated for behavioral health conditions and/or those at high risk for suicide. The seven new and revised elements of performance address areas such as:

  • Risk assessments of the patient-care environment to minimize suicide risks
  • Validated, standardized assessment of patients at risk for suicide
  • Documentation of patient suicide risk and mitigation plans
  • Policies and procedures for the care of at-risk patients including counseling and follow-up care
    • Note: organizations must ensure that written policies and procedures reflect actual practice and are followed by staff
  • Ongoing monitoring of processes to minimize suicide risks

TJC has a new R3 Report, link below, that provides details on the new and revised requirements and includes rationale and research as well as links to resources.

Additional information on TJC’s recommendations for suicide prevention can also be found in the StayAlert! published on August 9, 2018.

Included with today’s notice are example polices related to suicide prevention.

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