Nursing

Inside scoop from our experts: Fall prevention ideas

HCPro's Weekly Update on the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®*, February 15, 2010

This week’s question and answer come from a conversation on JourneyTalk. Our answer is provided by Rajanee Singh, RN, BC, BSN, MA, director of professional practice at Jupiter Medical Center in Jupiter, FL.

Q: Our organization is working on fall prevention. We would love to hear from someone who has dramatically reduced falls on their nursing units.

A: At Jupiter, I chair the Fall Prevention Program with the director of physical therapy. Here are a couple of ideas we implemented:

    1) A life preserver on each unit. Every day the director has a parade of sharing with staff how many days without a fall.

    2) After each fall, we complete a post-fall patient safety huddle with staff and supervisor and charge nurse

    3) Every month, we examine age, gender, assisted/unassisted, injury level, fall risk protocol, restraints, time of fall, date of fall, etc with the falls. We look at room number to see which rooms are involved (were they close to the nurse station?), fall alarm, were sleepers involved? We trended certain sleepers and removed some sleepers from our standing orders. Medications that are a first time dose are also a cause. Mental status, census at time of fall, staffing are all looked at.

    4) We recently placed a fall mat in each room for easy access for staff since we trended our at-risk patients did not necessarily have a fall alarm.

    5) Our clinical practice and research councils reviewed the data and education was provided again to all staff.

    6) Each unit without falls for the month receives a lifesaver cake for all staff. I usually buy the lifesavers in the big bags and the cake is made in the shape of a lifesaver (everyone enjoys this as it is a big presentation with our CNO, managers, and supervisors). We have seen improvements and I am waiting for our final numbers as we changed from calendar year to fiscal year.

We use a Johns Hopkins tool of assessment. My best advice is to drill down your data and pinpoint where you need improvement and keep your plans moving. Each month we could spot trends. Time was also a big factor of when these falls occur.

Editor's note: On JourneyTalk you can network with your peers, discuss the new manual, share your helpful tips, and get advice on how to meet the program's expectations. Become a member of JourneyTalk when you subscribe to HCPro's Resource Center for the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®.

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