March 30, 2023

Suicide risk screening tools: Clear instructions, staff training recommended for safety, quality

By: Lindsay Botts

Editor's Note

New safety considerations for using validated suicide risk screening tools related to implementation and training were released by The Joint Commission on March 27.

When working with patients at risk of suicide, screening tools can help determine appropriate treatment options and whether further assessment is needed. However, it is imperative these tools are used appropriately as minute changes or errors can hinder accuracy.

Recommended safety actions:

  • Ensure the screening tool has “clear instructions for use” and is used as intended by the creators of the tool.
  • “Conduct training and competence assessment” to ensure staff understands how to correctly use the tool and which actions to take based on results.
  • Explain how the tool fits into the greater suicide risk assessment and mitigation process.

“The ultimate goal is to protect individuals from harm and make certain they receive the appropriate treatment,” The Joint Commission indicates.

Live chat by BoldChat