Research indicates that in the month after individuals leave inpatient psychiatric care, their suicide rate is 200 times higher than that of the general population. All too often, these individuals fall through common gaps in care as they transition to outpatient treatment settings, resulting in increased suicide risk.
“The transition from inpatient to outpatient behavioral health care is a critical period of time for individuals with a history of suicide risk, and for the health care systems and providers who serve them.” - National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, Best Practices in Care Transitions for Individuals with Suicide Risk: Inpatient Care to Outpatient Care
Best Practices in Care Transitions
To help close these gaps that put individuals at increased risk for suicide after a psychiatric hospitalization, the Action Alliance (Care Transitions Advisory Group) developed Best Practices in Care Transitions for Individuals with Suicide Risk: Inpatient Care to Outpatient Care. Released in 2019, with the support of Universal Health Services (UHS) Behavioral Health Services, the report describes evidence-based practices for improving clinical care and outcomes for people with a history of suicide risk during the critical period of transition from inpatient to outpatient care.
The Best Practices in Care Transitions report:
- Discusses the transition from behavioral health hospitalization to outpatient care as a unique phase in care.
- Presents evidence-based practices that have been shown to improve safety and continuity of care for patients during this transition.
- Provides recommendations specific to both inpatient and outpatient organizations and providers.
To facilitate the adoption of the report's findings, the Action Alliance also developed the following:
- Two-page executive summary, which provides an overview of the Best Practices in Care Transitions.
- A care transitions video, which highlights the importance of implementing best practices during this critical period of transition for individuals with suicide risk and a few strategies that inpatient and outpatient settings can adopt.
- An infographic, which illustrates the key points from the Best Practices in Care Transitions.
- An Inpatient Health Care Self-Assessment, which is designed to help inpatient providers assess their care transition policies and practices against each of the best practices outlined in the Best Practices in Care Transitions
- An Inpatient Care Transitions Action Planning template, which can be used by health care organizations to develop a comprehensive approach to improving their care transitions process