Last week, Wrongway Regional Medical Center (WRMC) had a Joint Commission survey. The surveyors found ligature points, being chairs, in the community room. A ligature point is defined as "A feature in an environment which could be used to support a noose or other strangulation device (especially, for the purpose of attempting to commit suicide)".
Joint Commission has ruled that patient care areas are to be “Without points where a cord, rope, bedsheet, or other fabric/material can be looped or tied to create a sustainable point of attachment that may result in self-harm or loss of life.”
The area of concern Joint Commission found was that the geriatric and child psych units community rooms were without doors. Therefore, it is believed that patients could unnoticeably enter the community room with noose made from a cord, rope, bed sheet or other fabric/material and attempt to commit self harm or suicide. Therefore, doors with locking devices need to be installed on the community rooms.
Fine. Sure. Okay. I guess, theoretically speaking, a suicidal patient could enter the community room unnoticed with a noose made out of a cord, rope, or bed sheet or other fabric/material, stand on a chair, throw it up over some ligature point and attempt to commit self harm or suicide. So doors need to be installed.
But what to do in the meantime?
WRMC administration has deemed that, until doors with locking devices can be installed, a specific staff member will act as a door, sitting in front of the community room doorway 24/7. This staff member will assure no suicidal patient will enter the community room with a noose made out of a cord, rope, bed sheet, or other fabric/material and attempt to commit self harm or suicide!
That staff member acting as a door will be allowed to do nothing else: No patient care, no 15 minute safety rounds, no charting, and of course no electronic devices of any sort, or reading material of any kind! The staff member is to just sit there and act like a door!
I kid you not!
The staff member assigned as a door will be relieved every 2 hours.