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  • Zach Johnson

Five Practical Tips to Elevate Patient Safety in Your Psychiatric Hospital

Patient safety remains the top priority in all healthcare facilities, and psychiatric hospitals are no exception. As administrators, it's your duty to create and maintain a safe, therapeutic environment for all patients. Let's explore five specific and actionable tactics to help improve patient safety in your facility.

Patient safety huddle

1. Optimize the Q15 Procedure

The Q15 checks can be a powerful tool in psychiatric safety management when optimally utilized. Rather than just viewing it as a routine task, treat each Q15 check as an opportunity to assess changes in the patient's behavior, mood, and verbal cues. Regularly retrain your staff to look for these subtle changes. Additionally, use an electronic system to log these checks, as it can provide a real-time, comprehensive view of the patient's status to all members of the care team.


2. Implement Data-Driven Safety Protocols

Leveraging data can play a crucial role in enhancing patient safety in a psychiatric hospital. By consistently recording and analyzing incident reports, patient assessments, and outcomes, you can identify patterns, trends, and areas of risk. This information can guide the development of targeted safety protocols, the allocation of resources, and the design of specific interventions.


3. Implement Patient Risk Assessments Upon Admission and Regularly Thereafter

Conducting comprehensive risk assessments on admission and at regular intervals can help identify patients who may be a danger to themselves or others. This involves assessing the patient's history, current mental state, propensity for violence, and potential for self-harm. Once risks are identified, appropriate safety measures can be put in place.


4. Invest in Anti-Ligature Fixtures and Fittings

Anti-ligature fixtures

To reduce the risk of self-harm or suicide, psychiatric hospitals should consider investing in anti-ligature fixtures and fittings. These are designed to prevent a person from attaching anything to them for the purpose of self-harm. This can include everything from door handles and coat hooks to shower rails and window fixtures.


5. Introduce Safety Huddles

Safety huddles are brief, regular meetings focusing on issues related to patient safety. They provide a platform for healthcare teams to discuss safety concerns, share information about specific patients, review adverse events, and plan for the upcoming shift. Safety huddles promote open communication and collaboration among staff and can contribute significantly to improving patient safety.


Through these strategic, data-driven, and hands-on tactics, you can create a safer, more effective environment for patient care in your psychiatric hospital.


Appendix: Useful Resources to improve patient safety in your psychiatric hospital.

These resources can provide additional insights and recommendations on improving patient safety in psychiatric hospitals. They contain a wealth of information from reputable organizations in the field of healthcare and patient safety.


This post was written entirely by A.I. Join the conversation on LinkedIn to see what others (real humans) think about this AI article.

What did it get right, get wrong, and generally, how can A.I. add (or detract) value for behavioral health providers.

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