How to Prevent Falls in the Hospital?
Falls in hospitals are a big problem for patient safety, and studies have shown that one-third of falls can be prevented.
Handling a patient’s underlying fall risk factors and making the hospital’s physical design and environment safer are two parts of a multifaceted plan to stop falls in hospitals.
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Several practices and interventions have been shown to help keep hospital patients from falling and reducing falls in the inpatient hospital setting.
Let’s talk about how to prevent falls in the hospital. There are some important things that hospitals can do to keep people from falling.
Fall Risk Signs in Hospitals
Many factors that contribute to hospital falls, including an aging population, more serious patients, nurse absences, caregiver work-related issues, and a hospital culture that places little value on safety. When a patient falls, it is usually not just because they are sick or have a history of falls. There are often other things going on as well. The most common reasons why a person falls in hospitals are:
Failure to Call a Nurse for Assistance:
Sometimes, hospital staff does not notice that a patient is at a high risk of falling when the patient needs help. A patient may also be labeled as having a low risk of falling even though it is clear that they cannot get out of bed or go to the bathroom without help, which could lead to a fall and a serious injury.
Effects of the Environment:
Some things in the environment that make it more likely for someone to fall are uneven walkways, poor lighting, and no grab bars or handrails.
Female gender, white race, cognitive impairment, gait or balance impairment, low body mass index, and having two or more chronic conditions are all risk factors for falling.
Some medicines, like sedatives, hypnotics, and antipsychotics, may make you more likely to fall.
Falls happen when performing elimination-related tasks, like getting out of bed to use the restroom.
What Happens When a Patient Falls in the Hospital?
Many things can happen when a hospital patient falls, such as physical injury, mental distress, higher healthcare costs, and legal liability.
According to research between 700,000 and 1 million patients fall in U.S. hospitals annually, and 30–51% of falls cause injuries.
Falling can be hazardous for older patients and those with pre-existing conditions. Falls can cause fractures, head injuries, bruises, and psychological trauma like fear of falling, anxiety, and depression.
Because falls require more medical treatment, more extended hospital stays, and more healthcare resources, they can raise healthcare costs.
The hospital could also be held responsible when a patient falls and gets hurt.
Hospitals must implement evidence-based fall prevention strategies in hospitals and involve patients and their families to prevent falls.
By addressing the causes of falls and implementing effective prevention strategies, hospitals can reduce patient falls and fall-related injuries and improve patient safety and care.
Let’s look into how to prevent falls in the hospital?
How to Prevent Falls in the Hospital?
- Assessing Fall Risk:
Performing comprehensive fall risk assessments on all patients upon admission and throughout their hospital stay. It involves finding things that might make someone more likely to fall, like a history of falls, problems with mobility, changes in mental health, and the use of medications.
- Patient Education:
Educating patients and their families about the risks of falling and ways to avoid them, like using call lights, wearing shoes that do not slip, and asking for help when getting out of bed or going to the bathroom
- Environmental Modifications:
Making the hospital environment better by clearing the walkways of any obstacles, installing handrails and grab bars, and making sure that patient rooms, bathrooms, and hallways have enough lighting
- Use of Assistive Devices:
As needed, encouraging the use of assistive devices like canes, walkers, and wheelchairs and making sure that these devices are in good working order and easy for the patient to reach
- Medication Management:
Reviewing and managing medications that may raise the risk of falling, such as sedatives, hypnotics, and antipsychotics.
It involves changing medication schedules and giving people other options to lower their fall risk
- Staff Training and Communication:
Give staff training on how to keep patients from falling and ensure that everyone on the care team can talk about patients at a high risk of falling. It includes using standard communication tools and alerts from electronic health records to let people know if they are at risk of falling
- Patient Monitoring:
Regularly check on patients and ensure they can reach call lights and bed and chair alarms for those who are more likely to fall, and ensure they are safe in the fall
- Post-Fall Assessment and Follow-Up:
Doing thorough assessments after a fall to discover what caused it and how to stop it from happening again. It involves keeping records of falls and telling others about measures to prevent them from happening again
Let’s Sum it up- How to Prevent Falls in the Hospital?
Fall prevention in hospitals involves assessing fall risk, educating patients, modifying the environment, managing medications, training staff, monitoring patients, and conducting post-fall assessments. Dealing with these issues and putting in place effective plans for fall risk prevention in hospitals it can cut down on patient falls by a significant amount and improve overall patient care and safety.
How to implement a risk management program in healthcare?
Hospitals manage risks through comprehensive risk management program in healthcare that involve identifying, assessing, and mitigating potential hazards across various areas of operations.
How important are bed alarms and fall prevention?
Bed alarms are essential in hospitals to alert caregivers when patients attempt to leave their beds unsafely, helping prevent falls and related injuries.
How to prevent falls in the hospital?
Hospitals can prevent falls by conducting fall risk assessments, educating patients, modifying the environment, managing medications, providing staff training, monitoring patients, and conducting post-fall assessments.
What medical software used in hospitals?
Commonly used medical software in hospitals includes Electronic Health Records (EHR), Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS), Hospital Information Systems (HIS), and Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSS).