Ligature and/or Suicide Risk Reduction - Emergency Department - Safe Rooms (Designated Spaces)

Does every emergency department need to have a “safe room”?

Any examples are for illustrative purposes only.

No, The Joint Commission does not mandate “safe rooms” in emergency departments. Spaces/rooms designated ONLY for the treatment of patients with behavioral health conditions within an emergency department or other area must meet the ligature-resistant requirements.

Note: TJC does not define “safe room” in its glossary, however in the context of the FAQ this moniker is used to describe a “designated space” as a room and/or area that is dedicated to the treatment of patients with behavioral conditions. Designated and Non-designated are the descriptors used to identify these spaces.  

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
Last updated on February 19, 2021
Manual: Behavioral Health
Chapter: National Patient Safety Goals NPSG

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