ColumnsHazards of Using Constant Observation With Suicidal PatientsObegi, Joseph H. PsyD Author Information OBEGI: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, California Correctional Health Care Services, Statewide Mental Health Program, Elk Grove, CA The views expressed in this article are my own and do not reflect the official policy of the department. I thank Robert D. Canning, Erick Rizzotto, and Hal S. Worztel for their generous and helpful feedback. The author declares no conflicts of interest. Please send correspondence to: Joseph H. Obegi, PsyD, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, California Correctional Health Care Services, Statewide Mental Health Program, Building G, P.O. Box 588500, Elk Grove, CA 95758 (e-mail: [email protected]). Journal of Psychiatric Practice: November 2022 - Volume 28 - Issue 6 - p 485-491 doi: 10.1097/PRA.0000000000000668 Buy Metrics Abstract Constant observation is a necessary albeit controversial procedure. Although widely used in psychiatric hospitals to maintain the safety of patients experiencing acute suicidality, constant observation is associated with many medicolegal hazards. Some hazards threaten patients directly, others undermine the effectiveness of treatment, and still others challenge clinical decision-making and suicide risk assessment. Nevertheless, clinicians can take proactive steps to minimize potentially adverse effects of constant observation on patients, preserve the integrity of treatment, and limit legal exposure. Copyright © 2022 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.