Fall Safe Project
The purpose of the Fall Safe project is to prevent and manage falls in the hospital. The goal is to reduce the number of falls in the hospital, which may result in head injuries, fractures, psychological harm, prolonged hospital stay, unnecessary costs of treatment, and clinical negligence claims. The introduction of this project is in response to recent reports of rising cases of falls in the hospital, which is endangering the patients’ lives. A multi-factorial approach will prevent the falls, as it is more effective than individual interventions (Ang, Mordiffi & Wong, 2011). The project will involve the implementation of several interventions. Firstly, there will be the installation of bed rails to prevent the patients from falling while asleep. Furthermore, sensor alarms will be fixed on the beds to reduce the likelihood of patient falls. The sensor alarms will sound whenever the patients start moving to alert the nurses (Spoelstra, Given & Given, 2012). When the nurses are alerted, they can go to help the patients to rise and prevent them from falling. In addition, low beds will be acquired for use by patients at a high risk of falling. Low beds will ensure that patients get off the bed safely and that repeated fallers will not incur any injuries. Another intervention is the provision of footwear with nonskid surfaces to prevent cases of slipping and falling when the patients are walking around (Spoelstra et al., 2012).
The target population for this project is patients at the risk of falling. These include those with neurological conditions, visual impairment, cognitive problems, history of falls and patients under sedative medication (Rowe, 2013). Patients with postular hypotension as well as those who need to use the toilet frequently such as patients suffering from diarrhea also fall under this group. A number of falls occur because of toileting-related activities (Tzeng, 2010). The conditions of these patients increase their likelihood of falling. Therefore, there is a need to protect them from the dangers posed by falls.
This project will bring numerous benefits to the hospital. Firstly, the number of falls will be reduced and the patients will be safe from injuries and fractures. In addition, the hospital will not face any charges related to negligence filed by the relatives of patients who experience falls. Moreover, the hospital’s image will improve because of adopting patient safety measures and more patients will prefer to be treated in this hospital. The hospital will also not incur additional costs in the treatment of fractures and injuries that patients incur after falls. In addition, there will be no unnecessary congestion in the hospital by patients because of prolonged stays due to injuries from falls. The patients will be treated for their conditions and discharged.
Implementation of the Fall Safe project will involve various costs. The first is the cost of acquisition and maintenance of the necessary equipment such as sensor alarms, low beds, fixing rails and nonskid footwear. The hospital will also incur training costs. The staff will undergo training in order to familiarize themselves with the program and the use of the new equipment (Rowe, 2013). Even though substantial costs will be incurred in the implementation of the project, the expected benefits justify its adoption. Unnecessary costs related to fines and regulations will be avoided. Moreover, there will be reduced cases of litigation resulting from patient falls. In addition, the cases of lost reimbursement for patient care because of preventable falls will decrease. The rate of patient falls will decrease and this will increase their satisfaction. Employee satisfaction will also be improved. The image of the hospital will improve and it will receive more patients. Therefore, the total benefits that the hospital will derive from this project warrant its implementation (Spoelstra et al., 2012). In short, the costs of implementing the project are less than the costs that the hospital incurs because of falls.
After implementing the Fall Safe project, it will be evaluated to determine if it is achieving its intended purpose. Evaluation of the Fall Safe project will be outcome-based. This approach will identify the benefits achieved by the patients and staff. The first step will be to evaluate whether the project has led to a decrease in the number of patient falls. Outcomes that will be measured include decreased fall rate, reduced costs from falls and the satisfaction of the hospital staff (Spoelstra et al., 2012). Incident report forms will be used to collect data on the number of falls. The fall rate will be compared to the initial number of falls before the initiation of the project. After three to six months, the hospital will be able to determine whether the program is successful or not. A survey conducted on the nurses will also reveal their level of satisfaction with the project and its impact on their practice. The results of the evaluation will be used to revise the project accordingly.
Ang, E., Mordiffi, S. Z., & Wong, H. B. (2011). Evaluating the use of a targeted multiple intervention strategy in reducing patient falls in an acute care hospital: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 67(9), 1984-1992.
Rowe, R. (2013). Preventing Patient Falls: What Are the Factors in Hospital Settings That Help Reduce and Prevent Inpatient Falls? Home Health Care Management & Practice, 25(3), 98-103.
Spoelstra, S. L., Given, B. A., & Given, C. W. (2012). Fall Prevention in Hospitals: An Integrative Review. Clinical Nursing Research, 21(1), 92-112.
Tzeng, H. M. (2010). Understanding the prevalence of inpatient falls associated with toileting in adult acute care settings. Journal of Nursing Care Quality, 25(1), 22-30.
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