Incidence, Method, and Location of Suicides from Fatal Self-Inflicted Injuries Sustained in US Hospitals, Medical Facilities, and Campuses


Franklin University Dissertation Excellence Award - Winner (Spring 2023)

Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Healthcare Administration (DHA)

Committee Chair

Cheryl Chance

Committee Member

Gail Frankle

Committee Member

Tonia Young-Babb


This quantitative research study investigated suicides from fatal self-inflicted injuries sustained in US hospitals, medical facilities, and their campuses. The purpose was to understand these deaths' frequency, method, and location to determine if they have changed over time. Regulators need to understand the frequency, method, and location of all healthcare suicides to align regulations with current risk patterns and save lives. This exploratory, longitudinal study analyzed secondary data on 1,021 decedents in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Violent Death Reporting System, in yearly panels from 2015 to 2020. Chi-Square Goodness of Fit tests were run to determine if the percentages of suicide methods and locations frequency changes over time. The findings of this study showed that the methods and locations of fatal self-inflicted injuries have not changed from 2015 to 2020, inferring two significant conclusions. First, suicides have occurred on hospital grounds, parking lots, and parking garages consistently for six years, but have only recently been documented. Second, prevention regulations have failed to impact suicide rates in the healthcare locations they are directed towards. This research found that suicide prevention regulations require realignment and deficiencies with their implementation need addressed. Addressing these deficiencies can save patients’ lives, and reduce suicide exposure harm to family, friends, employees, and communities.