From left to right, Reed Salvatore, CEO, Accurate Lock & Hardware Co.; Sukhjit Tom Singh, Field Director, Environment of Care Compliance, New York -Presbyterian Hospital; Michael Bernstein, The Joint Commission; Jared Shapiro, Director Environmental Health and Safety, Montefiore Health System. (Photo courtesy of Corporate Realty, Design and Management Institute.)
Ligature risk took center stage at the NYC: 5th Annual Hospital, Outpatient Facilities & Medical Office Buildings Summit in September. Michael S. Bernstein, MSE, MBA, PE, CCE, CHFM-Life Safety Code Surveyor, The Joint Commission, explained why via email: “A facility was surveyed, it had ligature risks identified during the survey, and before they could be mitigated there were two successful suicides. This occurred in the 1st quarter of 2017.” He advised the conference attendees, if we find significant ligature risk, it can be called immediate threat to life.
Reed Salvatore, CEO of Accurate Lock & Hardware Co., spoke on a design and compliance panel at the conference and offered the healthcare real estate professionals this advice:
- In reality, there really is no product out there that is anti-ligature.
- Try to create as ligature resistant as possible and eliminate as many risks as possible.
- There are pluses and minuses to everything that you do. Part of the whole process is really understanding types of risk.
- Pay attention to the design guides. When they have notations there’s a reason. See if it’s a trade-off you can make.
- Speak to people using the products on a daily basis at other facilities.
- Ligature resistant products tend be to be expensive because they are specialty items. Don’t confuse value and price. You want to make sure you’re picking products that are durable and do what they are supposed to do.
Every day new products are being developed to address previously accepted risks. Options like the Accurate LR-SDS Sliding Door System solve previous risks and work to enhance patient dignity. Learn more about ligature resistance and Gold Standard products on Accurate’s website.