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Washington, DC: VA Office of the Inspector General;  February 17, 2022. Report No. 21-01506-76.

Patient suicide is a reoccurring sentinel event that is a challenge for the veteran’s health care community. This report shares the results of 36 unplanned inspections at United States Veterans Affairs facilities. While the inspections found general guidance compliance to be in place, weaknesses in required patient follow-up, staff training and outreach activities were flagged as areas in need of targeted improvement to enhance patient safety.

Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration. Fed Register. November 3, 2021;(86):60883-60893.

Patient suicide attempts are considered never events. This funding announcement calls for program applications to motivate suicide prevention strategy implementation in the indigenous peoples’ community. The effort anchors on the Zero Suicide initiative to address unique challenges presented by the Indian health system. The application period closed in February 2022.

Washington, DC: Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General; September 3, 2020. Report No 19-09493-249.

Discontinuities in mental health care are a patient safety concern. This report analyzes how documentation gaps, medication reconciliation problems, and poor care coordination contributed to the suicide of a patient who presented at an emergency room, was screened there, and referred to a clinic for further care that was not completed.
Washington, DC: Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General. January 7, 2020. Report No. 19-00468-67.
Systemic weaknesses challenge safe care in Veterans Affairs health systems facilities. This report analyzed a patient suicide at one medical center and determined contributors to the failure. This report shares recommendations to address deficiencies including improved communication across the care continuum and reliably acting on root cause analysis results.

Washington, DC: Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General. August 22, 2019. Report No. 19-07429-195.

Hospitalized patient suicide is a sentinel event. This report describes an investigation into a patient suicide incident in the Veterans Affairs health system that found numerous conditions that contributed to the event, such as nonoperational security cameras, ineffective rounding policy, and lack of leadership knowledge of safety practices in mental health units. Recommendations for improvement include staff education, standardization of rounding, and robust oversight of frontline practice.