Patients in inpatient mental health settings face similar risks (e.g., medication errors) to those in other areas of healthcare. In addition, some unsafe behaviours associated with serious mental health problems (e.g., self-harm), and the measures taken to address these (e.g., restraint), may result in further risks to patient safety. The objective of this review from Thibaut et al., published in BMJ Open, was to identify and synthesise the literature on patient safety within inpatient mental health settings using robust systematic methodology.
The authors found that patient safety in inpatient mental health settings is under-researched in comparison to other non-mental health inpatient settings. Findings demonstrate that inpatient mental health settings pose unique challenges for patient safety, which require investment in research, policy development, and translation into clinical practice.