Year: 2010 Source: The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, v.36, no.2, (February 2010), p.87-93 SIEC No: 20100340

This study examines the implementation & effectiveness of using a standardized checklist for mental health units to improve patient safety in a large health care system. In 2006 a Department of Veteran Affairs committee developed both general guidelines to be applied to all areas of the psychiatric unit & detailed guidelines for specific rooms. Some 113 facilities used the Mental Health Environment of Care Checklist to evalute their mental health units, identifing & rating 7,642 hazards. At the end of the first year of the project, because of the checklist, 5,834 of these hazards had been abated by facilities. The most common hazard was anchor points for hanging, followed by materials that could be used as a weapon, & problems keeping patients in the secured unit environment. (22 refs.)