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Patient Restraint and Seclusion in the Acute-Care Setting

Sometimes restraining or secluding a patient can prevent injury or save lives. However, improper use of restraint can also cause physical or psychological injury or death. Therefore, restraint and seclusion should never be used as first choices. Instead, they should be used as last resorts and only when absolutely necessary.

Patients retain certain rights during treatment and these guidelines are designed to protect their safety and dignity. These guidelines also help your organization comply with regulatory standards.

In 2009, the Joint Commission updated their restraint and seclusion standards to more closely align with the CMS. There are now two sets of standards for restraint and seclusion. Those that apply to:

  • Hospitals that use Joint Commission accreditation for deemed status
  • All other hospitals

This course will discuss standards that must be followed by hospitals that use accreditation for deemed status.

Please note: The use of restraint and seclusion must be done in accordance with hospital policy and law and regulation. Your hospital may differ. For example, some hospitals may not allow the involvement of clinical psychologists. Please consult your supervisor if you have questions.

Courseware Learning Objectives

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Define restraint and seclusion
  • List physical and psychological risks in using restraint and seclusion
  • Recognize best practices and regulatory standards for the use of restraint and seclusion