Last night I was at dinner attempting to explain Kennon’s products to my brother. I told him about the covers we make for military aircraft that keep dust and other foreign objects from getting inside and causing damage. I told him about our Sun Shields that keep cockpit interiors, and all of the sensitive electronics, from overheating. Then I told him about our anti-ligature soft suicide prevention doors (SSPD). When I talked about the $200 million jets we protect, I said that with confidence and volume. That’s fun to talk about! I’m proud of those products. I’m also proud of our SSPDs, but of course I hushed my voice.
Suicide, and the mental illness that often accompanies it, are hard to discuss. Like the monster that used to live under my childhood bed, his mere mention might cause him to wreak havoc in my dreams. It’s hard to talk about, and doing this is my job. I’ll admit that when I do, my chin instinctively squishes upwards and I frown. No matter, some things need to be talked about, and I hope you read on.
Behavioral health patients are often in a battle with depression. Suicide is a clear and present danger. Alone in their room, with their own monsters wreaking havoc, sadly, the thought of hanging themselves might come to mind. Whether you design patient rooms or manage them, it’s your job to eliminate the ligature points and cords in which a patient might accomplish this. In the old days, plumbing, closet rods, light fixtures, and power cords were all objects of jeopardy. Thankfully, designers have found ways around all of those. In 2009, in cooperation with the United States Veterans Administration, Kennon created the first soft suicide prevention door. The “breakaway” door was designed to replace bathroom and shower doors. In the Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, the VA reported that reducing ligature points with products including our original SSPD reduced suicides in their behavioral health units by 82%.
Fast forward 13 years and Kennon has announced a fully redesigned door. The new Kennon SSPD Door 2.0 is an anti-ligature bathroom door held in place by magnets. The magnets are strong enough to hold the door in place for regular use but the door is designed to breakaway with minimal pressure. The door has a lightweight foam core, a waterproof vinyl cover, and sports high-definition images on both sides. The door presents no ligature points and is too soft and light to be used as a weapon. The new door also has a unique shape that, we think, creates a modern and appealing environment. The profile also increases function, enabling staff to check in on the patient without infringing on their privacy.
The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 22,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. Among the standards they audit for is that all in-room finishings need to be fire-proof. Our breakaway door is the only door like it to have received NFPA-286 certification — the certification the Joint Commission requires.
As I said, I’m proud of all of Kennon’s products. We make products that save lives, whether talking about fighter pilots or behavioral health patients.