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The Joint Commission has proposed some changes to it’s national patient safety goal for suicide prevention. The proposed requirements were posted for comments on Monday, March 20 and comments will be accepted as part of the filed review through May 1, 2017.

The suicide safety goal continues to apply only to patients in behavioral health institution and patients in hospitals who are being treated for emotional or behavioral disorders. The proposed standard calls for the use of evidence-based assessment tools for screening and for a more in-depth assessment when patients are screened as a potential suicide risk.

What the proposed standard does NOT do is provide clarity about patients in the emergency department who are being medically screened and when the fundamental decision about whether to place the patient on an involuntary hold is being made. These new standards may provide an opportunity to provide clarity for this problematic issue.

Stay tuned for our final analysis and a copy of our comments, which will be posted on this site in the near future.

Click HERE to visit the Joint Commission web page related to the field review of these proposed standards.

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