Suicide attempts after emergency room visits: the effect of patient safety goals.
Suicide is considered a never event, and addressing suicidality for patients with a mental health diagnosis became a National Patient Safety Goal in 2007. The goal mandated assessment of suicide risk in patients with a primary mental health diagnosis. This study examined the incidence of suicide after emergency department treatment among Medicaid recipients in Florida before and after the goal was introduced. Investigators found that the rate of suicide declined among patients with a mental health diagnosis compared to those with a physical health diagnosis. These observational data suggest that implementing the goal may have increased identification of suicidal patients, resulting in appropriate treatment and reduced suicide attempts. A previous WebM&M commentary discussed suicide after discharge.