Falls within the hospitals continues to challenge the practitioners on ways to eradicate it. Most of the falls cause adverse consequences on the patients especially those that have undergone surgery (Currie, 2008). The patients might end up with functional dependence, fractures, mortality, and fear of falling again. Close to 1 million cases of patients suffer from falls yearly (Currie, 2008). Almost 51 percent of them are lucky enough not to hurt themselves severely. Most of the falls are avoidable, but the prevention of falls can be complex since there are many things that arise from the falls. The federal government took it upon themselves to take over the situation and directed hospitals to develop patient-safety regulations (Butcher, 2013).
Not all hospitals are in a position to address the directive immediately as stated by the government. They have a few problems within their organization that hinder them on delivering their promise. One of them is a lack of personnel who can be on call for any emergency within the hospital (Authors, 2011). However, there are ways the hospital can prevent some of the falls regardless of the number of staffs it currently has. One of the solutions that will help in preventing falls is the introduction of multifaceted fall prevention programs (Authors, 2011). Study shows that the programs have brought down the relative skill of falls by 30 percent. A review carried out by Veterans Affairs Greater Health System in Los Angeles found several themes that show successful fall prevention programs (Butcher, 2013). They include leadership support, multidisciplinary committee, front-line staff engaged in the design of the program, and convincing staffs that falls are preventable.
Another solution is to ensure the presence of staff like nurses around the wards. A study done in cardiac telemetry unit in Essentia Health showed a high rate of fall reduction at the beginning of 2012 (Butcher, 2013). They discovered that most of the falls occurred at night and weekends when the staffs on duty were few. Most of the patients got out of their beds in search of help and, unfortunately, fell. By conducting sequential trips around the trips in the hospital will help the patients get assistance without the need to get off their beds.
Another solution is expanding the hurdles. Nurses should huddle with their unit secretaries, physicians, or ancillary staff and go over the fall risk of each patient in the unit (Butcher, 2013). The information sourced will help the team plan in advance for any problems. Lastly, the hospital should develop after fall protocols that will help in figuring out the cases reported within the hospital. The information will be helpful in developing a way around the problem and possibly make solutions.
One of the ways to disseminate the collected information is through regular meetings with the staff (Currie, 2008). The meeting will follow up on the cases reported and come up with solutions. The meetings will provide a good setup for learning new techniques to prevent future falls. Another way is the implementation of outlined solutions such as the establishment of huddles and after fall protocols. The information needed to carry out these solutions is small, and the staff can easily understand and comprehend what they have to do. Lastly, follow-ups will ensure improvement and review of the solutions set in place (Currie, 2008). Most of the programs started in companies and organizations fail to grow because of negligence by the staff and people in charge.
Every plan develops barriers in its implementation regardless of its urgency. One of the major problems would be uncooperative staff. Some of the staff will be uncooperative to the changes being introduced due to individual reasons or laziness. They might not take up the move with the seriousness needed. The number might be small, but the effects will be great and may affect the hospital’s image. Getting permission from the authorities to undertake the program might be too tiresome. Some of the authorities are quite busy or at times make themselves busy just to avoid certain people. Getting their attention might take days or weeks. Even after getting their attention, one will have a hard time convincing them. Lastly, the solutions might die away with time due to the laziness and negligence of the staff. An idea is always great in its first stages, but failure to progress with it or show interest will bring it to a halt in a short time.
Some of the barriers are easy to eradicate, but others come from an individual’s effort. Coming up with a performance chat will ensure all staff members play a role in implementing the system. High penalties will bring a fear upon the staff to work extra hard in their respective areas. The move will help eradicate underperforming staff and decrease the negative comments the company receives from patients about their services. Being the one in charge of the program, it will be my duty to ensure all the staff workers adhere to the guidelines set. Having a routine check up on staff and meetings will assist in keeping a record of the progress. The major problem that might not lack a solution is convincing the authorities of the matter’s urgency. This one situation requires an individual’s effort to enact the program. In conclusion, patient falls in hospitals have easy prevention measures as long as the individuals and organization at large will join forces to make it possible.
Authors, M. (2011, March). Special Supplement to American Nurse Today-Best Practices for Falls Reduction: A Practical Guide. Retrieved from American Nurse today: http://www. americannursetoday. com/special-supplement-to-american-nurse-today-best-practices-for-falls-reduction-a-practical-guide/
Butcher, L. (2013, June 1). The No-Fall Zone. Retrieved from Hospitals and Health Networks: http://www. hhnmag. com/Magazine/2013/Jun/0613HHN_coverstory
Currie, L. (2008). Chapter 10: Fall and Injury Prevention. In C. M. Clancy, & R. Lavizzo-Mourey, Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses: Vol 1 (pp. 195-250). Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.