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Ligature 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 patients' 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 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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