Suicide Prevention: Improving Risk Assessment Can Save Lives
Behavioral Health Insights
By Micah Hoffman, MD, DABPN, FAPA, QME, CIME, CHCQM
AllMed Behavioral Health Medical Director
Early detection of risk and timely intervention are key to suicide prevention. But suicide’s complexity makes risk assessment a challenge, particularly for providers without specialized training. Recent studies have found that over 90 percent of people who die by suicide make a healthcare visit in the months prior to death.1 These visits take place in settings ranging from emergency rooms to primary care offices to outpatient facilities. This high rate of utilization by those at risk of suicide shows the opportunity that exists within the current healthcare system to reduce suicide deaths. Maximizing this opportunity calls for improving our ability to assess risk.
In this article, we discuss methods of suicide risk assessment and the need for detailed documentation to clarify decision-making.…
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