Safety

Tip of the week: Look at ladder use to decrease potential patient falls

Hospital Safety Insider, December 9, 2009

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Douglas Erickson, deputy executive director of the American Society for Healthcare Engineering, brought up an interesting point recently that tied fire and smoke damper testing to patient fall concerns—and his thoughts probably have broader implications.
 
In talking to Healthcare Life Safety Compliance about four-year versus six-year damper testing, Erickson said that longer testing frequencies mean less ladders in the corridors for such activities, which in turn decreases chances for frail or unstable patients to need to walk around ladders and potentially fall.
 
Erickson’s idea can apply beyond just damper testing. Think of all the activities in your hospital that involve ladders in patient areas and whether there are ways to lessen related patient risks. It’s a good risk assessment or performance improvement project.



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