If you are in a hospital and have a high risk for falls, follow the tips and advice given by your healthcare team. These tips include evidence-based practice, patient education, and tailoring interventions based on the patient’s unique risk factors. You can also ask your healthcare team about equipment that reduces the risk of falls. Stay calm and call 911 if you experience a fall. If you are in a hospital and have a high risk of falls, follow these tips to protect yourself from injuries.
Fall prevention is a growing priority for hospitals and nurses alike. Fall rates are important indicators of the quality of care that medical institutions provide and are often used to reduce hospital reimbursement. Falls are an especially costly incident because of the high morbidity and mortality that can result from them. Even a single fall can increase hospital costs by up to $3,500, and a fall accompanied by a serious injury could cost up to $27,000.
Evidence-based practice is a powerful tool to reduce the risk of falls in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. It takes existing methods and implements them with improvements to safeguard patients and improve the quality of care. In addition, it helps identify and prevent risk factors before an incident occurs. If a patient falls, the healthcare provider should promptly assess the patient for any injuries and fill out an incident report. In many instances, this evaluation will help to prevent potentially life-threatening falls.
The guidelines focus on nursing care recommendations that are based on evidence-based research. They are supported by the latest findings in clinical trials. Whether these recommendations are a good idea or not, nurses can play a major role in improving patient care. They can also manage risky extrinsic to the patient’s needs. Communication and education are the keys to reducing the risk of falls in hospitals. In addition to improving patient care, these strategies can reduce hospital costs and improve patient satisfaction.
Other effective fall prevention practices are based on the physical environment and the patient’s personal needs. A basic strategy is called hourly rounding. This involves making hourly rounds between the hours of six a.m. and 10 p.m., and visiting the patient twice a day. These interventions have shown great results in reducing fall rates and increasing patient satisfaction. Further, they are cost-effective in reducing the number of unscheduled call lights.
Several research studies have examined patient education to prevent falls in hospitals. While patient education is not a substitute for effective intervention, it can help mitigate the risks associated with hospital falls. It can include the use of call bells, safe footwear, and assistive devices, such as walking frames, and the importance of waiting for assistance when mobilizing. This review aimed to assess the effectiveness of patient education programs. To do this, researchers looked at available literature on patient education programs to prevent falls.
During the admission process, nurses may discuss recent falls with patients and give them specific advice to prevent future falls. Other interventions may include bed alarms and hip protectors. The interventions used to prevent falls vary, depending on the patient. Patient education programs are an essential component of the overall prevention program. Here are some examples of effective patient education:
In a systematic review of the effectiveness of patient education programmes to prevent falls in the hospital, several key themes emerged. The objectives of these programmes are to engage patients and reduce their risks of falls, including the number and severity of injuries. Patient education programmes may include a combination of strategies or be delivered in a single mode. However, patient education programs are most effective when they are designed to consider individual patient factors and the environment in which they occur.
The researchers reviewed 16 estudios. Four were conducted with elderly patients and did not demonstrate any effect, while the remaining estudios did improve knowledge and participation. Most studies involved between seven and eleven hundred patients. Follow-up periods varied from one to twelve months, with an average session lasting two and a half hours. The authors concluded that the educational interventions reduce the risk of falls by improving patient knowledge and participation.
Universal fall precautions
The fundamental steps to prevent falls in hospitals are known as universal fall precautions. These precautions are the same in every part of the hospital, and are designed to keep visitors, staff and patients safe. If a hospital fails to provide a safe environment, the patient could fall. Any patient could slip on a spilled liquid, for instance. By following these steps, nurses can make sure that their patients don’t fall in the hospital.
Among the universal fall precautions in the hospital, the use of nonskid footwear is a good idea for ambulatory patients. Computerized alerts can help identify patients at risk for falls based on their medications. The risk of falls is greater with patients on certain medications. To avoid unnecessary alerts, providers should limit their frequency and use them appropriately. Pilot tests should be conducted before implementing them on a large scale.
The next step in fall prevention is the standardized assessment of patients’ risk factors. While all patients are at risk for falls, some are at greater risk than others. By evaluating these patients’ risk factors, physicians can develop a care plan addressing them. This assessment process helps improve clinical decision making and identifies the factors that may make a patient more likely to fall. Identifying risk factors early in the course of an illness or injury is crucial to preventing falls.
Patient education is a critical part of hospital falls prevention. However, there is no single model that works for all patients. In addition to individual risks, education must be adapted to the environment in which the patient is hospitalised. To effectively reduce the risk of falling, patient education should combine various modes of education, including educating patients through a patient-centred approach. When patient education is implemented effectively, patients can reduce their risk by using the information learned.
Tailoring interventions based on patient-specific risk factors
In order to tailor interventions to reduce the risk of falls, healthcare providers should conduct a standardized assessment of risk factors for patients. These tools can vary from simple checklists to detailed assessment forms that evaluate several aspects of risk. Unit Teams should make sure that staff members understand that these tools are only part of the equation and should complement clinical judgment. Here are some steps to ensure the accuracy of risk assessment tools.
To minimize the risk of falls, patients should be assessed for a recent fall or a history of falls. Those with mobility problems are at greater risk of injury from falls, and those with mobility issues may require assistive devices such as canes and walkers. Frail and elderly patients are at higher risk of falls than those who are alert and healthy. Patients with underlying illnesses or bone disorders may have a higher risk of falling.
The research was conducted in Chinese surgical and medical units. The authors found that falls occur in a variety of settings in the hospital, and their rate of incidence varied based on unit type. The researchers also conducted a literature search to identify evidence-based practice guidelines for prevention and risk assessment. After reviewing the literature, they developed a survey questionnaire based on the risk factors that tended to increase the likelihood of a fall. Expert consultation was conducted with seven experts on fall prevention.
There are many ways to reduce the risk of patient falls. For example, patients should be informed about fall prevention strategies before they go into the hospital. The best way to achieve this is to engage the patients in the process. Involve patients and their families. If fall prevention is a priority for the hospital, the team can implement tools such as posters that involve the patient. The posters are easily translated to the language of the Morse Fall Scale. In addition, these posters include validated interventions. In addition, color provides clinical decision support by linking specific risk areas to evidence-based interventions.
Immediate bed environment
The immediate bed environment is essential for preventing falls in hospital patients. The risk of a patient falling can increase as a patient ages, is on certain medications, or is suffering from conditions such as dementia. An appropriate fall prevention strategy should involve personalised assessment, discussion with patients, and consistent use of numerical data and a combination of word and picture formats. Decisions to prevent falls should always be made in the patient’s best interests and should limit the extent to which basic rights are violated. A patient’s gravitational potential energy can be calculated to show a direct relationship between the height of the bed and the risk of a fall.
Another way to improve the immediate bed environment is to incorporate the use of color codes and pictograms. These can help alert staff to any safety information based on internal protocols. An ergonomic handgrip on the siderail can also be a great help. Patients with limited mobility can benefit from an immediate bed environment that allows them to sit or exit the bed without straining their ankles. An additional feature of a hospital bed should be a clear zone for the patient’s heels.
A patient’s ability to get up from a bed is a major cause of falls in hospital patients. According to the Joint Commission, more than half of injurious falls in hospital patients occurred while the patient was trying to get out of bed. Keeping the bed at a low height is an important aspect of a fall prevention program. Some beds can be as low as 10 inches off the floor, allowing small patients to put their feet on the floor and sit upright.