Suicide Prevention in the Care Delivery Setting: Maximizing Reliability

Tuesday, April 18 at 4:15 PM - 5:15 PM CT
South Building, Level 5 | S503

In 2019, more than 45,000 American adults died from suicide – including 6,261 U.S. Veterans. Suicide is, however, preventable. In 2018, a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) study found that a safety planning in the emergency department intervention for Veterans found to be at high-risk for suicide was associated with 45% fewer suicidal behaviors and more than double the odds of outpatient mental health follow up. Based on the findings of this study, in September 2018, the VA implemented its enterprise-wide Safety Planning in the Emergency Department (SPED) initiative. This panel will discuss real life challenges faced in implementing this initiative at a VA medical center. Panelists, including a former VA medical center director and a physician informaticist with experience deploying hospital information system integrated solutions, will discuss the process of developing a strategic plan, evaluating the need for workflow support technologies, navigating the technology procurement and implementation process in a large healthcare facility with numerous priorities, incorporating technology into clinical and administrative workflows, managing change during go-live and after, and assessing and monitoring impact after implementation. 

VIDEO:  Hear Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen’s insights on this session.

Learning Objectives

  • Articulate two or more characteristics of high reliability organizations (HROs) and steps that can be taken to support the journey to become an HRO.
  • Describe how a healthcare provider organization can employ real-time, hospital information system integrated, technology providing advanced analytics and clinical decision support to improve situational awareness, care coordination, patient care experience and the overall quality and consistency of suicide prevention care delivery
  • Identify strategies to avoid inefficient, costly rework and errors by improving sensitivity to operations and maximizing the “first pass yield” of care processes
  • Explain how a medical center successfully added a new capability to existing hospital information systems that supported a strategic, high priority initiative, including how they approached procurement, integration / installation, training / go-live and post implementation monitoring
Chief Quality Officer and Chief Clinical Transformation Officer, Clinical Informaticist, CMIO/CMO


Barbara Van Dahlen, Ph.D.
CEO and Clinical Psychologist
WeBe Life Inc.


David LaBorde, M.D., M.B.A.
President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board
Iconic Data, Inc.
David Whitmer, FACHE
Vice President, Product Operations (Federal)
DSS, Inc.