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Ligature and/or Suicide Risk Reduction - General - Assessing Serious Risk

What does "serious" risk for suicide mean?

Any examples are for illustrative purposes only.

Organizations should use an evidence-based process to conduct a suicide assessment of patients who exhibit suicidal behavior or who have screened positive for suicidal ideation. The assessment should directly ask about suicidal ideation, plan, intent, suicidal or self-harm behaviors, risk factors, and protective factors. After this assessment, patients should be classified as high, medium, or low risk of suicide. The Joint Commission considers "serious" as equivalent to "high risk". Please refer to NPSG 15.01.01 in the Accreditation Manuals for information relevant to screening and assessment of patients at risk for suicide.

This FAQ was also published in the Perspectives® Newsletter, July 2018, Volume 38, Issue 7 - The Official Newsletter of The Joint Commission.

Additional Resource
Suicide Prevention Portal
Manual: Hospital and Hospital Clinics
Chapter: National Patient Safety Goals NPSG
Last reviewed by Standards Interpretation: February 01, 2022 Represents the most recent date that the FAQ was reviewed (e.g. annual review).
First published date: June 27, 2018 This Standards FAQ was first published on this date.
This page was last updated on February 01, 2022 with update notes of: Review only, FAQ is current Types of changes and an explanation of change type: Editorial changes only: Format changes only. No changes to content. | Review only, FAQ is current: Periodic review completed, no changes to content. | Reflects new or updated requirements: Changes represent new or revised requirements.

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