Year: 2020 Source: Archives of Suicide Research. (2020). 24(3), 342-354. DOI: 10.1080/13811118.2019.1635932 SIEC No: 20200932

Hospital emergency departments (EDs) are important settings for the implementation of effective suicide-specific care. Usual care for suicidal patients who present to EDs remains understudied. This study surveyed EDs in Washington State to assess the adoption of written procedures for recommended standards of care for treating suicidality. Most (N = 79, 84.9%) of the 93 EDs in Washington State participated. Most (n = 58, 73.4%) hospitals had a written protocol for suicide risk assessment, but half (n = 42, 53.2%) did not include documentation of access to lethal means. There was evidence of an association between patient volume and the adoption of suicide-specific protocols and procedures. Our findings suggest the need to enhance the adoption and implementation of recommended standard care in this setting.