Audits conducted on medical records have been traditionally used in hospitals to assess and improve quality of medical care but have yet to be properly integrated and used for suicide prevention purposes. We aimed to (1) revise a quality of care grid and adapt it to an adult population of suicide attempters and (2) identify quality of care deficits in managing adult suicide attempters at the emergency department (ED) in two different Montreal university hospitals.
An existing checklist for quality of medical and social care in the ED was adapted. A systematic search and data extraction of all suicide attempters in two different Montreal university hospitals were then conducted. All identified individuals who attempted suicide were fully reviewed and quality of care was assessed.
Eleven criteria were kept by the expert focus group in the revised grid that was then used to rate 369 individuals that attempted suicide. Suicide risk assessment was only present in 63% of attempters before discharge. Although family history was documented for 90% of attempters, in only 41% of the cases were interviews conducted with relatives. Most discharged patient lacked proper follow-up considering 11% of their relatives received written information on resources in case of need.