Quality and Population Health

EH Adopts New Suicide Risk Assessment Tool

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Patients with suicidal ideation vary widely in their risk for a suicide attempt depending upon whether they have a plan, intent, history of attempts, and other factors. It is important to conduct an in-depth assessment of patients who screen positive for suicide risk to determine how to appropriately treat them.

Identifying patients at risk for suicide (one of the Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goals) can best be achieved through the use of an evidence-based assessment tool, in conjunction with clinical evaluation. To support this goal, Englewood Health has adopted the Columbia Suicide Severity Risk Scale (C-SSRS) to assess the suicidal severity, effective July 1, 2019.

Using the assessment begins in the ED or at the point of entry. Based on the results of the screening tool, the patient will be placed on the appropriate level of observation for safety. We will be updating the addition of the C-SSRS screen to the current PHQ-9 screening in the Patient Safety Suicide/Depression Symptom Assessment policy (200.32B). The psychiatrist will complete a discharge screening for suicidal ideation prior to the patient being discharged as another measure to assure a safe discharge. Epic builds are in process and will include these very important screening tools to assist us in providing safe patient care.