Falls injuries are frequently reported in hospitals especially among the inpatients. These injuries not only have adverse effects upon the patient, they also affect the health care system directly by increasing the length of stay of the patient. Although there was given a heightened national attention to this issue, patients’ falls are ubiquitous and the causes of them are still escalating (Ganz, 2013). It is essential to embrace the fact that although falls cannot be completely eradicated, they can be minimized. Preventing further patient falls is at the top of the list for every health care institution, therefore methods have been researched and developed in order to curb this problem (Ganz, 2013). This paper identifies the best new practices to prevent falls in nursing home, providing examples and explanations as to why this practice is unique. Paper also describes the steps to implementing this new practice and gives details on how to create safe from falls environment.
The New Practices to Prevent Falls in Nursing Home
In a culture that solely relies on evidence-based practice, data is the essential to drive nursing homes to accept a certain practice (Radey, 2012). Falls prevention programs that have proved to be effective according to research involve multiple approaches, which include changing environmental factors and the behavior of patients and healthcare practitioners. Once there is a balance between these subjects, then a perfect intervention program is modified thus tackling the problem. (Radey, 2012). Implementations to prevent falls in a hospital require support from evidence-based practice. This will, in turn, promote standardization and assist in preparation to the falls’ prevention (National Quality Forum, 2013).
The only intervention is often not enough, since the solution to falls is often multifactorial. Possible solutions include fall reviews, educating patients and staff, changing the hospital conditions, scheduling and supervising toilet visits and medical reviews (Miake-Lye, 2013). The best practice for nursing home in order to avoid falls is to combine patient and staff education and modify the environmental conditions in the hospital. Educating the patients and their caregivers ensures better clinical outcomes since they learn to cooperate (Miake-Lye, 2013).
In the training program, nurses and other caregivers can be taught about the use of technology in eliminating falls .The nurses in this fall intervention program are taught how to monitor patients remotely by use of safety status board. They are also can be taught on the safe height and position of patient’s bed (Boushon, et al., 2012). For the patients’ education, they are taught how to use the bed alarms in case they need any assistance, and they are also reminded that their toilet visits should always be supervised (Miake-Lye, 2013). Modification of the hospital is also part of the practice, and it involves redesigning the hospital environment in order to minimize the possibility of falls. Improvements like this include rails that aid in ambulation and lightning floors that absorb impacts when one falls and marking of trip hazards that increases visibility (Boushon, et al., 2012). The combination of these two interventions was chosen because once patients and caregivers are educated, they can easily adapt to the modified hospital conditions thus reducing falls (Miake-Lye, 2013).
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provide rules that health care facilities should implement. CMS requires that health facilities provide a safe environment, and that the patient at risk is often assessed to avoid further falls (National Quality Forum, 2013). Moreover, the key to implement these new practices into healthcare system is to create a culture that responds effectively within the nursing home. This can be done through educational programs whereby proper education will improve awareness of the issue at hand and hence facilitate the fight against it (Boushon, et al., 2012). These educational campaigns should, therefore, emphasize that falls are catastrophes that they should be minimized. Thus, such training will assist in making patients and staff alert and prepared when dealing with a fall. In this way, in the case of an unexpected fall, people are ready to tackle the event and also they will be able to avoid a repeat (Boushon, et al., 2012).
Research of Implementation of Interventions
To support the implementation of prevention of falls in hospitals, research was done and it showed that when countermeasures were implemented, patient safety is assured (Radey, 2012). The Joint Commission necessitates that hospitals should conduct fall risk assessments for hospitalized patients to identify patients’ risks for falls, so that prevention measures can be implemented into the plan of the care (National Quality Forum, 2013). Health care can be made more effective by applying the three procedures that were suggested by the president of TJC who proposed that leadership, safety culture, and robust process improvement is the necessary requirement to prevent falls (Ganz, 2013). There exists a fall improvement program known as Transforming Care at The Bedside; it is a strategy that has proven to work once applied. The five strategies suggested are: making it easy to identify the high-risk patients, providing safety companions, keeping the patient busy, setting bed alarms and doing safety rounds (Boushon, et al., 2012). The Anderson hospital, for example, used the strategy to help the staff identify patients who were at a high risk of falling by making such patients wear red socks, thus the patients were given more attention (Rodriguez, 2013). After application of these measures, the Anderson Hospital went 353 days without experiencing a fall; this proves that the TCAB is a valid program to be applied to curb patient falls (Rodriguez, 2013).
As previously stated, using one measure to curb hospital falls is not enough. Fall prevention programs must include multicomponent interventions to reduce the rate of this risk. It is believed that Evidence Based interventions will improve standardization in the process (click here). Programs to prevent injury should be differentiated from those that prevent falls so that with such knowledge, the in-depth practice may be enhanced (Miake-Lye, 2013). In addition, a health care facility should keep records of the falls so that they may analyze the rates of falls so that they can keep track of the improvement they intend to make (Rodriguez, 2013).
In conclusion, the method of dealing with patient falls as suggested in this paper was done after focusing on the major areas of weakness in the nursing home. The research being that the staff and patients are not well trained and exposed to ways of preventing falls. The nursing home also has not embraced the modification of the lighting system and color schemes and also the flooring type. Such matters ought to be looked into and corrective action taken with immediate effect.