About the Session
When a patient named John took his own life, he became one of six patients who died by suicide in a seven-month period who had touched our behavioral health services, and one of 21 individuals who died by suicide that year in the county we serve. His death was preventable and prompted our hospital to begin our Journey to Zero Suicide. Under the leadership of our CNO, we sought to transform care delivery; engage leadership, providers and frontline staff to prevent death by suicide—including workforce suicide; and to improve outcomes for our most vulnerable patients. Despite having limited financial and workforce resources, we have seen incredible results. Today, our emergency services, inpatient units, behavioral health, and primary care offices universally screen for suicide and engage patients in evidence-informed collaborative safety planning and post-discharge caring contacts. We improved our navigation of care transitions through the implementation of consistent hand-off tools and rapid-access appointments with our ambulatory partners, and we created platforms to monitor adherence and optimized EHR functionality to track outcomes. What began as one small hospital’s journey became a system-wide effort that involves even the highest-ranking members of our system’s leadership. This is our story.
- Describe how one hospital garnered leadership support to promote and implement Zero Suicide strategies across a healthcare system to improve patient outcomes and quality.
- Identify evidence-based strategies for universal screening, care transitions and suicide-specific care that reduces risk within your hospital setting.