Development of a Framework for Monitoring Self-Harm

In 2015, the framework for a monitoring system was created in order to measure suicides and self-harm presentations to hospital emergency departments. Data collection was completed in 16 emergency departments in the Champlain Local Health Integration Network and results have been presented (see Publications and Presentations section). Each emergency department was asked to provide the following information:

  1.  The number of adult (18+ years of age) self-harm presentations to emergency department per year, stratified by gender (male/female);

  2. Methods of self-harm in index presentation per year, stratified by gender (male/female).

  3. The number of re-presentations to emergency department for any reason, within 12 months following the patient’s index episode per year, stratified by gender (male/female);

  4. The number of visits to psychiatry (or mental health provider) following presentation of self-harm per year, stratified by gender (male/female).

Results revealed that no two hospitals were monitoring suicide and self-harm in a comparable way. In order to inform future interventions, we must engage our emergency departments to decide and implement a time-effective documentation method for self-harm cases that will allow for easy comparisons between hospitals (e.g., use of the same International Classification of Diseases [ICD] codes).