Press Release / April 09, 2019
MN Health Collaborative Announces Shared Standards for Suicide Prevention and Intervention in the EDNew initiative seeks to improve care for patients and support Emergency Departments (EDs) with evidence-based guidance for screening, assessment and intervention, transitions and follow-up The MN Health Collaborative announced today they have developed new evidence-based recommendations for suicide prevention and intervention in EDs. The shared standards, developed by physicians and other leaders from both emergency departments and psychiatry, are based on MN Health Collaborative members’ expertise, shared learnings regarding tools and current or planned practices in use, and review of existing relevant literature. The goal of the initiative is to improve patient care as well as strengthen support for ED staff and others involved in supporting patients. “In Minnesota, the suicide rate has increased by 40.6% since 1999, with 783 deaths by suicide reported in 2017. In addition, visits to the ED in our state for mental health and substance abuse have increased by 75% in the last seven years,” said Dr. Chris Palmer, Medical Director for the Emergency Department at North Memorial Health Hospital, a MN Health Collaborative member. “Clearly, there is a need to address these alarming statistics by reinforcing and strengthening how we screen, assess and intervene with patients at risk of suicide, both during the visit and afterward.” Healthcare leaders of MN Health Collaborative have a strong focus on ensuring the use of evidence-based tools and practices. The group’s recommendations on suicide prevention and intervention in the ED provide guidance that is adaptable to a local context and in alignment with CMS and new 2019 Joint Commission requirements. The Suicide Prevention and Intervention in the ED Shared Standards include recommendations in several key areas of care:
- Determination of patient populations in which to conduct screenings.
- Use of evidence-based, validated screening tools for suicide risk.
- Risk stratification to assist decision-making for safety precautions, rooming and resource needs
- Recommendations for comprehensive assessment and intervention tools for patients with a positive screen or presenting with suicidal ideation/attempt.
- Disposition suggestions based on the assessment that might include admission, observation or discharge.