The utility and effectiveness of 15-minute checks in inpatient settings

Geetha Jayaram, Hilary Sporney, Pamela Perticone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Implementing harm reduction is among the administrative tasks used for maintaining a safe unit for psychiatric in-patients. Such harm may be potentially caused by patients themselves or others. Included in nursing procedures implemented for observing suicidal patients is the practice of 15-minute checks. In reviewing the standard forms used for such procedures in several major hospitals across the United States, we noticed a wide variation in the format and use of 15- minute checks, as well as poor guidelines for their termination. We recommend that the observation practice of 15-minute checks be eliminated from the repertoire of nursing protocols for suicidal patients who are assessed to be at imminent risk for self harm on inpatient units.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-49
Number of pages4
JournalPsychiatry (Edgemont)
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2010


  • 15-minute check
  • Patient observation
  • Psychiatric hospital
  • Suicide
  • Suicide prevention protocol
  • Suicide risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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