Year: 2020 Source: Pediatric Quality & Safety. (2020). 3:310. doi: 10.1097/pq9.0000000000000310; Published online June 8, 2020. SIEC No: 20200466

Background: Suicide risk screening is recommended in pediatric care. To date, no previous studies illustrate the implementation of suicide risk screening in pediatric subspecialty care, even though chronic medical conditions are associated with a higher risk of suicide. Methods: A large multidivision pediatric ambulatory clinic implemented annual suicide risk screening. Patients ages 9–21 years participated in suicide risk screening using the Ask Suicide-Screening Questions during the project. A multidisciplinary team employed quality improvement methods and survey-research design methods to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of the screening process for patients, families, and medical providers. Results: During the quality improvement project period, 1,934 patients were offered screening; 1,301 (67.3%) patients completed screening; 82 patients (6.3% of 1,301 patients) screened positive. The monthly compliance rate held steady at 86% following several Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles of improvement. The survey results demonstrate that providers rated the suicide risk screening process positively; however, a subset of providers indicated that the screening process was out of their scope of practice or impeded their workflow. Conclusions: Suicide risk screening is feasible in pediatric specialty care and can identify at-risk patients. Continued efforts are needed to standardize suicide risk screening practices. Future directions include identifying factors associated with suicide risk in patients in pediatric subspecialty care settings.