Year: 2010 Source: Psychiatry, v.7, no.8, (August 2010), p.46-49 SIEC No: 20101178

Implementing harm reduction is among the administrative tasks used for maintaining a safe unit for psychiatric inpatients. Included in nursing procedures for observing suicidal patients is the practice of 15-minute checks. In reviewing the standard forms used in several major hospitals across the United States, the authors noticed a wide variation in the format & use of 15-minute checks, as well as poor guidelines for their termination. It is recommended the observation practice of 15-minute checks be eliminated from the repertoire of nursing protocols for suicidal patients who are assessed to be at imminent risk for self-harm on inpatient units. (15 refs.) JA