Year: 2021 Source: Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. (2021) Published online 27 January 2021. doi: 10.1097/JXX.0000000000000540. SIEC No: 20210180

Suicide is a global public health concern and may be preventable with early identification. The suicide rate among US veterans is increasing. In response to the increase, Veterans Health Administration recommended a new standardized three-step, evidence-based suicide risk screening process across all Veterans Health Administration sites. The purpose of this project was to implement the new three-step suicide screening method and evaluate the rate of provider adherence. The implementation occurred in seven clinical sites in the Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Health care System. Following initial implementation, two Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) evaluated provider adherence to the screening processes. Staff members at each site received suicide prevention education. Staff members had the option of using an embedded template in the course of normal patient care workflow. Plan-Do-Study-Act 1 measured the early results. Staff members achieved a performance adherence rate of 18%, indicating that staff were less likely to proactively screen for risk of suicide. In PDSA-2, the mandatory use of screening replaced the optional use. Staff members achieved a 95% adherence rate after 3 months. Changing the workflow within the electronic health record from optional to mandatory utilization brought forth improvements in suicide prevention screening.