Patient Safety Standards Guidelines
The Office of Mental Health (OMH) is pleased to release the updated eleventh edition (11th) of the Patient Safety Standards Guidelines. The purpose of these guidelines (20.3 Mb) is to provide hospitals with a selection of materials, fixtures, and hardware that OMH has reviewed and either supports or rejects their use within psychiatric inpatient units. It is our intention that these guidelines are used to further the agency's goal of reducing the risk of harm to individuals while in inpatient settings. Utilization of any of these products is not mandatory. OMH would be pleased to evaluate products identified by hospitals for inclusion in future editions.
There are some changes in this edition that should assist hospitals when selecting the best product for a specific application. In most cases we have eliminated products for low risk areas, as they generally tend to be standard stock items. The hospital still needs to evaluate low risk areas to identify the best suited products for the designated space. Many products in the guidelines were reevaluated and, in some cases, recommendations for their use have been changed from previous editions. The items in this document (20.3 Mb) are the best we've found that represent current state-of-the-art products. Be aware that some recommended products have known failure modes which are noted in the guidelines. Based on the expansion of risk reduction products seen over the past couple of years, it is expected that more effective products will continue to be developed. OMH intends to periodically update these guidelines to keep current with these changes, but the hospital also has an obligation to continue to review products that will assist in this goal.
Products in the guidelines represent the styles and properties that by design should reduce patient risk on psychiatric inpatient units. By providing these guidelines, OMH does not endorse or promote a particular product or manufacturer, nor does it guarantee the performance of any product. OMH acknowledges that is impossible to evaluate all products available in and coming to the market. Therefore, it is at OMH's sole discretion what products are selected for review. The absence of a product from these guidelines doesn't necessarily indicate that the product is unsafe or unacceptable. If a hospital has installed items previously recommended in earlier editions that are no longer included or recommended in this edition, it is reasonable for the hospital to continue using the older product with the understanding that these items may pose a higher level of risk than products listed in this 11th edition.
It remains the responsibility of the hospital to assess patient safety needs within its particular environment and its designated population and then determine the materials, fixtures and hardware that are most appropriate. It is also the hospital's responsibility to ensure that the selected equipment is correctly installed, operates properly and is routinely maintained. Nothing in these guidelines is intended to suggest that installation of these or any other products will eliminate all risks of suicide or injury.
OMH supports a multi-directed approach to the reduction of patient harm on psychiatric inpatient units, including the following:
- Completion of patient risk assessments.
- Completion of physical plant risk assessments.
- Ongoing staff training to ensure their awareness of potential risks on the unit.
- Installation of risk reduction products in patient bathrooms, bedrooms and other high risk areas.
- Routine inspections of psychiatric units to ensure safety levels are maintained.
Please note that since this document is very image intensive it has not been formatted to meet the strict standards set for accessibility by disabled individuals. If you have a need to access/identify the information within this document please contact OMH for assistance.
If you have general questions, comments or recommendations regarding these guidelines, you contact OMH.