What Is a Required 15 Minute Patient Check?

A 15-minute patient safety check, commonly known as a Q15 check, is standard in inpatient psychiatric healthcare settings. Patients are placed on a Q15 check, meaning a safety check is performed by a mental health technician or staff member every 15 minutes for each patient. According to a study from The National Library of Medicine, “Fifteen-minute checks are among the protocols implemented on inpatient units to protect patients.” These checks ensure a patient stays safe during their time in treatment, not posing harm or risk to themselves or others.

Digitizing Patient Checks

There are many benefits to digitizing your patient checks. Having electronic data to reference, whether that means your system is integrated with your EMR or stands alone; ensures that staff are actively performing these checks within designated protocol and timeframe. Such processes reduce the risk of sentinel events, elopement and proactively prevent missed observations from occurring. The traditional paper and clipboard model often used opens the door for falsified and missed checks. Additionally, the ability to reference electronic metrics and time-stamped patient observations will allow an organization to pull specific information in the event of a conflict or emergency.

A Proactive Approach

When managing patient care, it seems reasonable to be proactive in various aspects of workflow. Proactive healthcare according to Mercury Healthcare says, “This approach to managing high-risk conditions will help health systems move toward value-based care.A proactive approach can draw a distinct parallel to patient checks in behavioral healthcare settings. It is mainstream for patient checks to take place during designated time intervals based on the individual patients’ needs. Staff that are operating proactively and are on top of their checks exhibit intentionality in thinking long term for their organization. Proactive approaches and value-based care improve the overall quality of care and reduce healthcare costs over time. These proactive practices place emphasis on avoiding any sentinel events from happening. Timeliness with patient checks lessens the opportunity for patients to engage in harmful behaviors to themselves, other patients, or staff members, thus avoiding issues down the road for the organization and leadership.

Learn how ObservSMART takes a proactive approach to patient safety.

Avoiding Sentinel Events

Being cognizant of risk mitigation in healthcare is essential for patient and staff safety and avoiding lawsuits, fines, and penalties. The ability to utilize technology for accurate, up-to-date patient records leads to a powerful force in risk mitigation for an organization. The ObservSMART system is a unique software that documents, timestamps and stores required patient observations for leadership to access through detailed reporting. The proximity-based system ensures validated compliance to prevent any harmful situations for staff and patients. Additionally, there are alerts and reminders to help staff do their tasks on time and ensure that safety checks are never missed.

How We Can Help

Over 150 organizations across the country use the ObservSMART solution to replace outdated documentation methods and validate critical 15-minute patient safety checks. The ObservSMART patient safety and compliance solution allows organizations to closely monitor patients and record data in real-time. With an emphasis on being proactive vs. reactive, safety remains a top priority for high-risk patients and complex patient care settings. Visit our website or schedule a demonstration to learn how ObservSMART can revolutionize compliance and transform patient safety at your facility.