Suicide Prevention in an Acute Care Setting

Wednesday, 9 July 2008
John T. Hannon, BA, MBA, RN , Behavioral Health, Spartanburg Regional Medical Center, Spartanburg, SC

Learning Objective 1: understand the SAD PERSONS mnemonic and its applicability to acute care settings in the hospital environment.

Learning Objective 2: see the SADS PERSONS recommended intervention compared to the actual intervention the patient received in an acute care and ER setting.

The proposed poster presentation will present the model of the SAD PERSONS suicide risk scale and compare the model's expected intervention to the actual intervention of approximately 500 patients displaying psychiatric symptoms. This evidence-based study will include medically admitted patients who develop psychiatric symptoms on the acute care unit as well as psychiatrically presenting patients in the Spartanburg Regional Medical Center (SRMC)ER. The study will document the level of intervention given these patients to the mnemonic SAD PERSONS by Patterson et al. (1983).

Suicide takes the lives of over 32,000 people in the United States each year. Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States, and the third leading cause in the 15-24 year old age group. Suicide, and especially suicide and suicide attempts in the hospital environment is a major concern prompting the Joint Commission to identify suicide prevention as a safety goal nationwide. (JACHO, 2007)

SRMC has initiated a training program (Suicide Prevention in a Healthcare Setting) for all acute care areas to insure that non-psychiatric staff has a better understanding of the potential risks of the medically, non-psychiatrically admitted patient to their unit and that they have the training and a tool to use in assessing this risk.

In choosing the SAD PERSONS model as the basis of their program, this research is critical to SRMC to insure that the model is viable and applicable to the situations for which it is being used, and that the predicted intervention is comparable to the intervention initated by SRMC psychiatric staff. The poster will graphically show the results of this study and provide the viewer information that can be used in any healthcare setting in any place in the world.