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Suicide prevention standard now applies to critical access hospitals

By Brian Ward  
   December 09, 2019

The standard has applied to hospitals and behavioral healthcare programs since 2007. Significant changes took effect this year.

Critical access hospitals (CAHs) accredited by The Joint Commission (TJC) will be expected to implement National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) Standard NPSG.15.01.01 starting July 1, 2020.

This standard, which aims to prevent suicides among patients, has been posted on the prepublications standards pages. In the December edition of The Joint Commission’s Perspectives announcing the requirement, the accreditor noted concerns about the very high rate of suicides in rural communities that critical access hospitals serve. Suicide rates in rural counties are 25% higher than in urban areas.  

NPSG.15.01.01 has applied to hospitals and behavioral healthcare programs since 2007 and there were several significant standard changes that took effect in 2019. The Joint Commission released a clarification about those changes in May 2019.

Those who want to learn more about the suicide prevention NPSG are asked to contact Stacey Paul, RN, MSN, APN, PMHNP-BC, project director, clinical, Department of Standards and Survey Methods.

This brief was published on HCPro's Accreditation & Quality Compliance Center.

Brian Ward is an associate editor for HCPro who writes about hospital accreditation and patient safety.


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