The House of Representatives has passed a bill designed to improve and enhance suicide screenings in emergency departments. If signed into law, it would set aside funding to help hospitals improve suicide protocols.
The Effective Suicide Screening and Assessment in the Emergency Department Act (HR 4861) aims to help medical professionals working in emergency departments identify, assess and treat patients who may be thinking about committing suicide.
That skillset is especially important considering the fact that 11% of all emergency department patients are marked by suicidal ideation. Plus, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.
HR 4861 would create a grant program through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to help emergency department develop improved suicide risk protocols.
The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. If the Senate pushes it through, the proposed legislation will head to President Trump’s desk for a signature, at which point it would become law.