Patient safety has always been a top priority for medical providers. It’s estimated that between 700,000 and 1 million patients fall in hospitals each year. Falls can cause broken bones, hemorrhaging, and injuries that increase the necessary care for the patient. Fall prevention should be a major initiative within your facility. Here are a few strategies to get you started.
Identify High-Risk Patients
Some patients, especially older adults, are at a higher risk for falls than others. Many hospitals use a system to identify these patients so extra care to prevent falls can be taken. You can also determine if they’ve had a history of falls in the past year, impaired mobility, an altered mental state, or use medications associated with falls.
Provide a Safety Companion
For high-risk patients, sometimes the best prevention is observation. Ensuring that the patient doesn’t engage in activities that will likely result in a fall. Having a safety companion will also help them remain steadier when mobile or offer assistance when the patient needs to be transported elsewhere within the room or hospital.
Keep Patients Busy
It’s not surprising to learn that boredom can lead to riskier behavior, especially in older patients or those who are not used to having mobility problems. If you can, keep patients busy with tasks, conversations, or other activities to keep them in bed. This will also help alleviate depression and anxiety for many patients.
Utilize Bed Alarms
Some bed alarms have too long a lead time which can significantly affect their efficacy. If the alert is 10 seconds after a patient leaves the bed, they have a chance to move further and possibly fall. Many hospitals are setting bed alarms to just one or two seconds which alerts them sooner so they can respond faster.
Perform Safety Rounds
Along with traditional rounds, safety rounds twice a day can help reduce the risk of falling for many patients. During this time, the assigned nurse would check to ensure that all safety precautions were in place, such as notes or wrist bands for fall risks, signs, bed alarms, and more.
Are you Looking for More RN’s to Keep your Patients Safe?
Call the team at Fortus Healthcare Resources today to discuss how we can keep your busy practice fully staffed for optimal safety.