Did you know that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States? According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) and DNV GL Healthcare, patients have a right to care in a safe setting and, in order to provide care in a safe setting, hospitals must identify patients at risk for intentional harm to self or others, identify environmental safety risks for such patients, and provide education and training for staff and volunteers.
Hospitals must educate staff about the identification of patients at risk of harm to self or others, and the identification of environmental patient safety risk factors and mitigation strategies.
Indicators that increase suicide risk include, but aren’t limited to: depression, acute/chronic mental health illness, prior suicidal gestures/attempts, overdose, substance abuse, alcohol withdrawal, family history of suicide, social isolation and lack of support system, terminal and/or chronic medical conditions.
Physical illnesses associated with suicide include: multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, spinal cord injury, delirium tremors, Huntington’s disease, cancer, Cushing’s disease, renal failure/on dialysis, and chronic pulmonary disease.