Searching for the Holy Grail: Identifying and Reducing Imminent Suicide Risk in Healthcare Settings

October 17, 2018 | Strategic Insights for Health System


Effectively reducing suicide risk in a healthcare settings will take a "culture shift," said Bill J. Hudenko, PhD, research assistant professor of psychological and brain science at Dartmouth College, speaking October 8, 2018, at the American Society for Health Care Risk Management (ASHRM) conference in Nashville. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, killing more people each year than breast cancer, Hudenko said. "Every death by suicide results in the suffering of potentially hundreds of people," Hudenko said. "Are you and your organization doing enough?" Suicide prevention occurs at three points, Hudenko said: at assessment, treatment, and discharge. Universal screening for suicide risk is not only possible, he said, "it's critical." However, many current assessment measures are much better at detecting long-term risk than short-term risk. "This is problematic," he added.

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