Suicide Risk Assessment

Nurses General Nursing

Updated:   Published

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In our EMR (Cerner) on admission, there is a Suicide risk assessment area in which we fill out. OK fine, but do we really have to chart the suicide risk assessment on every patient every shift?  It seems ridiculous to me. Yes, if we identify someone who is at risk (of depression, anxiety, psych issues I can see it), but to ask a patient these questions every 12 hours and chart on it every 12 hours for the duration of their stay is silly. I can also see if there is a change in demeanor or condition.  Our hospital (and the only one in our system of hospitals to implement it) wants us to do just that.  Is this a thing?

TIA for your honest feelings on this and your experience with this. 

Editorial Team / Admin

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

6 Articles; 11,598 Posts

Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development.

It became a Joint Commission focus a few years back. Need anything more be said?

RNperdiem, RN

4,592 Posts

Our hospital finally pulled back on the daily suicide assessments. It is a joint commission thing after an incident at a sister hospital a while back- a bit of an overreaction and possibly what my son calls "safety theater".

Don't worry, another issue is sure to take its place. 

Emergent, RN

4,227 Posts

Specializes in ER.

It is a totally useless ritualistic exercise in futility. I doubt it's saved one life.

JKL33

6,694 Posts

I have read the breakdown of the NPSG on various occasions and have not come across evidence that they mean for everyone to be screened. In fact, it seems that it specifically says that screening everyone isn't required.

🤷🏽‍♀️

Wuzzie

5,096 Posts

8 hours ago, JKL33 said:

In fact, it seems that it specifically says that screening everyone isn't required.

You should have seen what happened when this first came out. Some lug-nut adminstrator thought it meant we needed to screen every patient we saw in clinic, at every visit. The first day it rolled out we sent 10 people to the ED for suicide risk evaluation because that was the plan put in place if they answered yes to "in the last 30 days have you had feelings of hopelessness". Ummmm, I work in a cancer hospital. SMDH

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Nurse Beth, MSN

157 Articles; 3,322 Posts

Specializes in Tele, ICU, Staff Development.

.....and these are the people who run hospitals 

11 hours ago, JKL33 said:

I have read the breakdown of the NPSG on various occasions and have not come across evidence that they mean for everyone to be screened. In fact, it seems that it specifically says that screening everyone isn't required.

🤷🏽‍♀️

You're right, it says patients in Behavioral Health or admitted for a behavioral health disorder 

JKL33

6,694 Posts

23 hours ago, Wuzzie said:

You should have seen what happened when this first came out. Some lug-nut adminstrator thought it meant we needed to screen every patient we saw in clinic, at every visit. The first day it rolled out we sent 10 people to the ED for suicide risk evaluation because that was the plan put in place if they answered yes to "in the last 30 days have you had feelings of hopelessness". Ummmm, I work in a cancer hospital. SMDH

Doing it in the ED was terrible for different reasons, just out of context and inappropriate. And I know for a fact that people high up in our system's care management/social work service line told them that screening everyone is NOT what it says and is not appropriate, and they did not care.

Just another reason why I consider "them" toxic. Whoever "they" are. People are drowning, worried about taking good care of patients, worried about charting everything, constantly being told we need to do better at [A, B, C and X, Y, Z], and no matter what they keep piling it on - and not just things that are really, really necessary, but things like this situation where what they are doing is objectively some multiple of what they were told is necessary and doesn't even make sense. It makes no sense to go around to people with whom you have no relationship and ask them these questions when it is totally random.

Tenebrae, BSN, RN

1,916 Posts

Specializes in Mental Health, Gerontology, Palliative.

it seems like complete overkill. 

Mini mental state seems to cover a more holistic picture including suicide risk assessment

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