Preventing Patient Suicide

Preventing Patient Suicide
1st Ed.
2022 © Joint Commission Resources
Joint Commission Resources
ISBN-13: 978-1-63585-268-4
eISBN-13: 978-1-63585-269-1
Psychiatry, Patient Safety and Quality Improvement


The Joint Commission introduced National Patient Safety Goal®(NPSG) NPSG.15.01.01 more than a decade ago to address continued suicide risk. NPSG.15.01.01 offers a framework for identifying and managing individuals at risk for suicide. However, today’s suicide rate remains a major concern. Also, healthcare organizations continue to have questions about strategies for identifying, mitigating, and preventing suicide risk for their patients. Joint Commission compliance data shows that suicide prevention remains a crucial challenge for healthcare organizations. Hence, this brand-new book offers insights, clarifications, and strategies for meeting Joint Commission requirements and reducing the risk of suicide among patients.

The book covers the following topics, per the requirements of the National Patient Safety Goal®:

  • • Environmental risk assessment and action to minimize suicide risk (including ligature risks)
  • • Use of a validated screening tool to identify individuals at risk
  • • Evidence-based processes for conducting suicide risk assessments of individuals screened as positive for suicidal ideation
  • • Documentation of individuals’ level of risk and the plan to mitigate their risk for suicide
  • • Development and implementation of written policies and procedures addressing care of individuals at risk for suicide
  • • Written policies and procedures for counseling and follow-up care at discharge for individuals identified as at risk for suicide
  • • Monitoring of implementation and effectiveness of policies and procedures, then acting as needed to improve compliance

This book is a resource for professionals who work in behavioral health care and psychiatric hospitals or units and for those who care for patients who are being evaluated or treated for behavioral health conditions in general hospital settings and critical access hospitals. In addition, this book contains information helpful to the environment of care and safety professionals and those, such as emergency department staff, who are likely to encounter patients at risk for self-harm or suicide and whose suicide risk may or may not be related to the reason for their hospitalization. This book is also for accreditation professionals who need to understand The Joint Commission’s requirements related to patient suicide.

Doody's Reviews

Score: 86/100
3/5 Stars
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Quotes, Reviews or Testimonials

"This book is surprisingly concise and helpful for clinical staff. Produced by The Joint Commission, the book focuses on the concrete, defined requirements (and avoidance of transgressions) of this organization. However, suicidality can be difficult to assess. Without being overly rigid, the book's focus on standardization, validation, documentation, and implementation may be a blessing in disguise, bringing objective rigor and structure to the dynamic and difficult task of suicide assessment and prevention."

-- John Frederick, MD (Trinity Health) Doody's Review


The primary audience is healthcare professionals caring for patients with behavioral health concerns or high risk for suicidality in a variety of different settings: inpatient hospitals, outpatient behavioral health settings, and rural/critical access hospitals. The secondary audience is leadership, administration, and accreditation professionals who must ensure compliance with TJC standards. This book meets the needs of the intended audience, given its focused scope. As The Joint Commission is the accrediting body for healthcare entities in the U.S., the authors are credible authorities indeed.

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