to main content Ligature and/or Suicide Risk Reduction - General - Assessing 'Serious Risk' | Critical Access Hospital | National Patient Safety Goals NPSG | The Joint Commission
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
Last updated on February 19, 2021
Manual: Critical Access Hospital
Chapter: National Patient Safety Goals NPSG

If no, please comment on how we could improve this response.

If you have additional standards-related questions regarding this topic, please use the Standards Online Submission Form
Surgeons in an operating room

Additional Resources

Train your staff with a tool to quickly and efficiently assess standards compliance with our 2021 Hospital Compliance Assessment Workbook.

A group of medical professionals have a discussion in a meeting room

Hospital Webinars

Keep learning with our Hospital Breakfast Briefings Webinar Series. Get a deep dive into our standards, chapter-by-chapter, individually or as a team.

Female doctor using digital tablet in her office.

Looking for Standards?

Get key information your hospital needs to achieve and maintain continuous standards compliance and experience operational improvement.