Enhancing Key Competencies of Health Professionals in the Assessment and Care of Adults at Risk of Suicide Through Education and Technology

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Abstract

Purpose:

This article describes efforts undertaken to improve the clinical competencies of health professionals in the area of suicide risk assessment, documentation, and care planning.

Description of the Project:

Best practices that fit the mental health and addictions setting were identified from the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario Best Practice Guideline on Assessment and Care of Adults at Risk for Suicidal Ideation and Behaviour. A variety of methods were used to implement the guidelines at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. These included 3 in-person educational modules, an e-learning module, and the creation of an electronic health record suicide risk assessment documentation form.

Outcome:

Results showed that interprofessional team members improved their suicide awareness and increased their confidence and knowledge in suicide risk assessment and the identification of interventions for clients at risk. Organizational level performance and quality improvement activities after implementation of the education and the electronic suicide risk assessment documentation form are being implemented through a collaboration between performance improvement, clinical education and informatics, and professional practice.

Conclusion:

The success of an interprofessional educational program of this nature is dependent on the collaboration of a number of stakeholders from a variety of areas of the organization.

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