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Suicide-specific Safety in the Inpatient Psychiatric Unit.

De Santis ML, Myrick H, Lamis DA, Pelic CP, Rhue C, York J. Suicide-specific Safety in the Inpatient Psychiatric Unit. Issues in Mental Health Nursing. 2015 Mar 1; 36(3):190-9.

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In total, 75% of suicides reported to the Joint Commission as sentinel events since 1995, have occurred in psychiatric settings. Ensuring patient safety is one of the primary tasks of inpatient psychiatric units. A review of inpatient suicide-specific safety components, inclusive of incidence and risk; guidelines for evidence-based care; environmental safety; suicide risk assessment; milieu observation and monitoring; psychotherapeutic interventions; and documentation is provided. The Veterans Health Administration (VA) has been recognized as an exemplar system in suicide prevention. A VA inpatient psychiatric unit is used to illustrate the operationalization of a culture of suicide-specific safety. We conclude by describing preliminary unit outcomes and acknowledging limitations of suicide-specific inpatient care and gaps in the current inpatient practices and research on psychotherapeutic interventions, observation, and monitoring.

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