September is Fall Prevention Awareness Month with Awareness Day occurring on the first day of Autumn. WSHA has been an active an collaborative partner convening our member hospitals to implement post fall management, including stratifying outcome data to identify vulnerable populations within their organizations that are at most risk for injury. Throughout September, WSHA will be highlighting membSeptember is Fall Prevention Awareness Month with Awareness Day occurring on the first day of Autumn. ers’ clinical improvement journeys.
The article below was written by Katie Naipo, RN, BSN, Regional Patient Safety Manager at MultiCare Deaconess.
For fall prevention month at MultiCare Deaconess Hospital we have been reflecting on our successes over the last year and identifying plans and opportunities as we move towards 2021.
Sharon Tomlinson and I had the opportunity to attend the WSHA falls bootcamp in September 2019. It helped inspire us to create a strategy and commit to leading in reducing our fall numbers. We got to work the next week, identifying barriers and preparing a “blitz” to launch on the inpatient units. Each week we would attend safety huddles and present one different topic for about three weeks. We would return to the floors in the afternoons to perform audits and give in the moment feedback. We shared the successes and opportunities with all managers for all floors to allow for transparency and shared goals. Over the 4th quarter we saw a 33 percent decrease in falls and have drastically reduced injuries related to falls.
In the winter of 2020, Deaconess, like so many hospitals, was challenged by the new terrain of COVID and adapted constantly to provide safe, quality care. Preventing falls for at risk COVID patients required meticulous adherence to PPE which meant precious time was lost each time the alarm sounded. The pandemic also posed an emotional barrier that was at times overwhelming and distracting for staff. When we saw those unique challenges, we set back out on a blitz, getting back to basics and sharing our progress with the team. The team was resilient and regrouped well, and we saw the lowest fall rates we have ever had!
Having a positive impact on fall reduction has been a journey of culture change. We are currently implementing safety behaviors to become a Highly Reliable Organization (HRO) which will aid in keeping those positive trends moving in the right direction. Staff are engaged in fall reduction in new ways that have helped keep patient safety a number one priority. We are excited to keep learning and adapting to the new challenges in healthcare and keep the momentum rolling in the right direction.