Ligatures and/or Suicide Risk Reduction - Inpatient Psychiatric Units - Ligature Resistant Medical Beds

How many ligature-resistant medical beds does my unit have to have ?

Any examples are for illustrative purposes only.

The Joint Commission has not specified a requirement for the number of ligature resistant beds on any given unit. This will depend on the needs of the patient population. The type of medical bed should be balanced based on the medical needs and the patients’ risk for suicide. For patients who require medical beds that have ligature points, there must be appropriate mitigation plans and safety precautions in place. Justification for the use of the medical beds and plans to mitigate risk must be documented within the patient’s medical record. The organization must consider these risks in patients’ overall suicide/self-harm risk assessments and implement interventions to mitigate these risks. 

In addition, The Joint Commission will not advise on the type of medical beds or ligature-resistant beds that should be purchased for patients. These decisions should be balanced based on patient needs.

If these medical beds are being used within an inpatient psychiatric unit, safety provisions must be considered for all patients who could be at risk for suicide. Provisions may include locking the patient room door where a medical bed is being used when unoccupied, removing a medical bed from the unit if not in use, and/or any intervention that restricts access to the medical bed by other patients.

Additional Resources: 
Suicide Prevention Portal 
Ligature and Suicide Risk Reduction FAQs

 
Last updated on March 19, 2020
Manual: Critical Access Hospital
Chapter: National Patient Safety Goals NPSG

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