Each year, between 700,000 and 1,000,000 people in the United States fall in hospitals. A patient fall is defined as an unplanned descent to the floor with or without injury to the patient. Of these falls, between 30 to 50 percent result in patient injury. These patient injuries range from fractures to lacerations, to internal bleeding -- which could result in increased healthcare services and fees. The average cost of a patient fall that results in injury is $14,000 and can add over 6 days to each hospital stay.
In a time where patient safety and satisfaction are so critical, preventing patient falls should be a top priority for hospitals. Peruse these tips below about how to prevent patient falls in a hospital.
Set Bed Alarms
If a patient is hungry or needs to use the bathroom and doesn’t get answered after pressing the nurse call button a dozen times, then he or she could attempt to stand up and risk falling. Simple as it sounds, ensuring that the nurse call cable is plugged in can reduce the risk of patient falls. Ensuring a patient’s room is equipped with a durable nurse call cable that is always connected promotes patient safety. BlackJack is the only magnetic breakaway nurse call cable that, when used correctly, ensures connectivity 100% of the time.
Identify High-Risk Patients
Screening can help nurses and other healthcare professionals identify patients who are at risk for falls. When assessing patients for fall risk, American Nurse Today suggests to check for history of falls, impaired mobility, altered mental state, medications associated with falls, and incontinence.
Keep Patients Occupied
Another way to prevent patient falls is to give patients activities to do so they would be occupied and less likely to get out of bed. One way to do this is to provide patients with a tablet. With a tablet, patients can watch their favorite movie, play games, read books, and even FaceTime with family members. With the proper accessory, like The Talon Tablet Mount, patients can use tablets from the comfort of their bed.
Use a Video Monitoring System
In addition to keeping patients occupied, tablets can be used as a video monitoring system to keep patients safe, like the one from Avasure. With a video monitoring system, live-stream video of patient activity can be viewed at a central monitoring station.
Many falls are the result of failures in communicating the importance in following procedures that prevent patient falls. Hospital staff, at all levels, should be properly trained in the steps they need to take to prevent patient falls. Additionally, it is important to provide staff with the resources they need for fall prevention, such as regular training and technology like nurse call cables.
Overall, preventing patient falls is difficult and complex. However, ensuring bed alarms are connected, identifying high-risk patients, keeping patients occupied, using a video monitoring system, and raising awareness are great strategies to help prevent patient falls in a hospital. If you have any questions about patient safety, BlackJack, or The Talon Tablet Mount, please contact us.