Falling is one of the gravest dangers that older and more frail patients face during hospital stays. In a previous blog post, we discussed the things that hospitals can do to help identify high-risk patients. But merely identifying such patients is not enough. So, what can a hospital actually do to prevent falls from occurring?
Well, a hospital in Cincinnati implemented a program called "Transforming Care at the Bedside," which resulted in a marked reduction in the fall rate among its patients. Among the methods that were employed as part of TCAB were:
- Having patients who had a high risk of falling wear red socks so they can be more easily identified by the hospital's staff and physicians.
- Providing patients who had difficulty following instructions or who were disoriented with safety companions who keep constant watch and give aid to help prevent falls.
- Altering the bed alarms that sound when a patient leaves the bed from 10 seconds to 2 seconds for high-risk patients.
- Keeping patients occupied with activities that made them less apt to get out of bed.
- Enlisting the aid of patients' families and educating them about fall prevention.
- Doing regular safety rounds in which nurses would specifically check to make sure that all fall prevention measures were in place.
By taking the right steps, hospitals can greatly reduce the chances of a patient falling and suffering a serious injury. This is absolutely critical because a fall could drastically alter a patient's quality of life. And it is even possible for a patient to suffer fatal injuries owing to a fall.
If you or a loved one was harmed in a hospital fall that could have been prevented, you may wish to contact an attorney who handles health care-related injury cases. The attorney could work on your behalf to help you get compensation to cover the medical expenses that resulted from the injuries caused by the fall.