Preventing hospital patient slips and falls should be of utmost importance if you work at a medical facility. This is due to the nature of medical facilities and hospitals, as patients should be safer at these places than other areas.
As such, there are plenty of ways to help increase the safety points of a facility. Certain practices and routines can be implemented to help maintain a high level of safety and assistance to patients, no matter who comes in. Here are the top five patient handling practices that hospitals should do to help prevent the risk of a slip and fall injury.
When it comes to an important type of patient handling, none can be prioritized more than making hourly rounds to each of the patients that reside within the hospital. Although it may seem self-explanatory, checking in with a patient frequently can ensure that their needs are met in a quick and efficient manner.
Although making the rounds is generally within a hospital staff's list of duties, there are some things that can be properly improved upon with making the rounds to ensure that the time is being efficiently and effectively used.
Having a checklist will help twofold when making the rounds for patients. First, it will assist in remembering and understanding any general questions that may need to be asked towards a patient. General questions may seem like they can be skipped often. However, they can be vital to ensure that a patient is well taken care of and in stable condition.
The second reason is that it will keep staff in line with the facility standards. Ensuring that a staff member asks every priority question that is necessary, as well as checking any vitals that must be checked, can ensure that one patient is not given less care than another.
An hourly round will also keep staff on top of any hazards or possible conditional issues within a patient's room. Have staff not only assess the patient, but the state of the room as well. If there are too few items, or items in disarray, it may be necessary for the staff member to help collect and organize the items in a safer style.
Proper Assessments of Patients
Another priority measure in place to assist against slip and fall accidents is to do proper risk assessments of a patient that is being admitted. These assessments can be used to test a number of different symptoms, such as physiological risk, mental risks, and susceptibility to falls and injuries.
Utilizing these tests and assessments can help to identify at risk patients, as well as any possible dangers and situations that may need to be secured and taken care of before a patient has a chance to face those hazards. Situations such as making sure a patient understands to not move on their own, and keeping a patient closer to a restroom than others can help to mitigate such situations from occurring.
Create Fall Prevention Care Planning
Fall Prevention Care Planning is the process of taking a patient's risk assessment and tests, and modifying and creating a specific care plan for them. This is used to personalize the care and treatment to a certain patient, as each patient's needs differ as time passes. These care planning processes should involve things such as:
- Possible altered mental state
- Impaired gait or mobility
- Frequent restroom needs
- Perception and visual impairments
- High-Risk Medications
Taking these symptoms into account, the fall prevention care planning should take each possible risk, and create an outline of how to deal with situations that are either common or uncommon for the patient.
Involve Family in the Fall Prevention Care Planning
The next important patient handling practice is to help key in family members and consistent visitors of the patient on the care plan. This is a type of upgrade to the basics of the fall prevention care planning. As the patient tends to have family and friends visit, allowing them an understanding of where the patient stands in terms of a stable pattern will allow them to also keep an eye on the patient while they visit.
As the family visit, they can be aware of looking for certain signs, such as unstable steps, or lapses in judgement if a patient attempts to stand or move about. These signs, if told about beforehand, can give hospital staff an extra set of eyes to help look after the patient in question.
Integrate and Refine Patient handling Practices to Fit your Facility
The fifth important patient handling practice is to incorporate the above to fit your facility. This may seem counterintuitive, but making sure not to overwork the staff or change things too drastically can mean the drastic improvement of the system in place, or the imploding of the system available for patient care.
Ensure that the practices being implemented fit for your current situations. If your hospital does not have enough staff to do hourly rotations, look to shorten the rounds, yet still be efficient through management of separate floor visits. If the hospital primarily deals with high risk patients, it may be necessary to properly prepare for it by always keeping the risk assessments at a higher level than normal. If the facility usually deals with lower and minor injuries, the practices for rounds may be elongated as the patients do not constant attendance.
If you have been involved in a hospital slip and fall accident, contact us at 1-800-219-3577 for a free no obligation case evaluation from experienced San Diego slip and fall lawyers.