Falls are dangerous whether they occur in your home or outside. Many patients think they are not a risk of falling in the hospital because they think they are healthy, and self-sufficient.
What patients do not take into account is fact that they are taking different medications that effect their thinking and memory, they just went through major surgery and need recovery time, and their balance and mobility are not the same as when they came into the hospital. It is because of these factors that patients have an increased risk to fall while in the hospital.
NEBH has implemented the evidenced based John Hopkins Fall Risk Screening tool to assist in determining patients that are high risk to fall and improve patient safety. You can help us achieve our goal of making falls “never events” by learning about your own fall risk and adhering to our “Call, Don’t Fall” campaign to ensure all patients are assisted when moving.
What we do to prevent falls
Each patient's mobility is assessed before their procedure. Once in the hospital, your risk of falling is assessed on admission and then minimally twice daily or whenever necessary.
An individualized safety plan is developed for each patient, which may include posting the patient's fall risk on the communication board in their room.
If a patient is identified as high risk for a fall, yellow sign with a picture of a person falling are posted outside the patient room door to communicate to all staff to take special precautions to ensure safety. We also provide yellow wrist bands and yellow non-skid socks. These yellow visual cues alert the staff and family members that the patient may need help walking and getting in and out of bed.
The patient, family members and visitors are educated about techniques to minimize the likelihood of falling. If you have any questions related to fall prevention please ask staff.
The Nursing staff conducts safety rounds on regular intervals to assist the patients.
What you can do to prevent falls
- Upon admission, inform a member of your health care team of any difficulty you may have with walking and getting in and out of a bed or chair.
- After surgery, do not try to get up without help. Most falls occur when patients try to walk too early without help.
- Inform anyone from your health care team if you begin to feel dizzy or unsteady.
- Wear your eyeglasses and/or hearing aids, if you have them.
- Always wear non-skid socks or shoes when out of bed.
- Report spills or other hazards to your health care team.
- Always use a walking device (cane, walker, crutches) if your physical therapist instructs you to use one.
- Use the knee immobilizer or brace, if you have a procedure on your knee and it is a part of your care plan.
- If you fall without a staff member, please report the fall immediately so the nurse can assess you to ensure no injury occurred.