Ligatures and/or Suicide Risk Reduction - Use of Validated Screening Tools

NPSG.15.01.01 EP 2 requires use of a validated screening tool for patients being evaluated or treated for behavioral health conditions as their primary reason for care. What is meant by a 'validated screening tool ? (Effective: July 1, 2019)

Any examples are for illustrative purposes only.

A validated screening tool is one that has been scientifically tested for reliability (the ability of the instrument to provide consistent results), validity (the degree to which the instrument is measuring the condition that it is designed to measure), sensitivity (the ability of the instrument to correctly identify individuals with the condition) and specificity (the ability of the instrument to correctly identify individuals without the condition).
Patients being evaluated or treated for behavioral health conditions often have suicidal ideation. Brief screening tools are an effective way to identify individuals who require further assessment  to determine risk for suicide. Screening tools should be appropriate for the population to the extent possible (e.g., age-appropriate). When using validated screening tools, organizations should not change the wording of the questions because small changes can affect the accuracy of the tools.

Examples of validated screening tools include the ED Safe Secondary Screener, the PHQ-9, the Patient Safety Screener, the TASR Adolescent Screener, and the ASQ Suicide Risk Screening Tool. The Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale can be used for both screening and more in-depth assessment of patients who screen positive for suicidal ideation using another tool. Click here for more information on the use of the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale located on our Suicide Prevention Portal.

Additional Resources
Suicide Prevention Portal
Last updated on March 19, 2020
Manual: Hospital and Hospital Clinics
Chapter: National Patient Safety Goals NPSG

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