During Patient Safety Awareness week we’ve been letting you know a few of the ways we keep patients safe everyday. Our final spotlight for the week is on fall prevention.
We identify patients who are at risk for falling through an assessment during admission. Patients who are considered to be a falls risk are given a special wrist band and socks, and a sign is placed outside their room. These steps ensure that staff members can easily identify these patients even if they are not a part of their immediate care team. Discussing the patient’s fall risk is also part of the standard reporting system with each handoff from caregiver to caregiver, whether the patient is being sent to Radiology for testing or at change of shift on the unit.
Patients who are at risk for falling need extra help getting in and out of bed, walking and moving about. Hourly rounding allows us to check on our patients to see if they need anything. It also helps us prevent falls by making sure things patients need such as water or the telephone, are within their reach. We want to prevent patients from falling because they are trying to get to something they need.
Patients who fall in the hospital could further injure themselves, leading to a longer hospital stay. And let’s face it; no one wants to stay in the hospital any longer than they have to.