September is Fall Prevention Awareness Month with Awareness Day occurring on the first day of autumn. WSHA has been an active and 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 highlight members’ clinical improvement journeys. WSHA safety and quality director Amy Anderson is available at firstname.lastname@example.org for falls questions – please don’t hesitate to reach out.
The article below was submitted by St. Clare Hospital in Lakewood, WA.
St. Clare Hospital has had a fall focus for 2020. We decreased our total fall fate by 29 percent and our falls with injury by 35 percent. We attribute our success to the hard work of our front-line staff and our Shared Governance Council. In May 2019, our frontline staff and leadership recognized that the proper use of bed alarms to include placement, plug in and checking with shift change would be an essential work for St. Clare. Many of our falls could have been prevented if bed alarms were used appropriately. Our Shared Governance Council put together staff education on bed alarms and instituted the use of bed alarms on all high fall risk patients (Morse 50 or greater). Bed alarm training was done with safe patient handling for all ancillary staff—not just for nursing. This education was followed up by months of consistent auditing and real-time conversations with floor staff on their assessments and use of bed alarms. A few short months after this work started, our SCH Fall Prevention Committee was formed and has continued working hard to support our staff and keep our patients safe. The Fall Committee works to provide peer-to-peer coaching on the use of fall assessments, prevention techniques, documentation and patient education. Using audits and real-time coaching has empowered staff to focus on fall precautions and preventions.
With this work, we are hopeful that we will continue to have tremendous engagement from our staff and improvement in our fall rates this new fiscal year.