Joint Commission revises 'suicide' definition

The Joint Commission is updating its sentinel event policy to provide an expanded definition for suicide deaths that hospitals report to the organization. 

The original definition was developed more than a decade ago and focuses on suicide deaths that occur in inpatient care settings or within 72 hours of discharge, including from the hospital's emergency department, according to a Dec. 13 news release from the organization.

The revised definition, which takes effect Jan. 1, applies to deaths caused by self-inflicted injurious behaviors while in a healthcare setting or within seven days of discharge from inpatient services, the ED or a behavioral healthcare facility.  

The update highlights healthcare organizations' continued responsibility for patients' well-being after discharge and aligns with criteria on when suicide risk is highest for patients, according to The Joint Commission.  

"Organizations are strongly encouraged to report sentinel events to The Joint Commission," the organization said in the release. "This gives organizations the opportunity to use the expertise and experience of Joint Commission patient safety specialists to analyze root causes, redesign processes, and monitor performance improvement practices and other aspects of the sentinel event process."

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars