Award recognizes Colville hospital’s work reducing patient falls
The Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) on Tuesday, May 17, presented its annual Rural Quality Everyday Extraordinary Award to Providence Mount Carmel Hospital, recognizing the Colville hospital’s work that decreased the frequency of patient falls. In all, the hospital’s program decreased patient falls by 42 percent and patient falls with injury by 50 percent between 2020 and 2021. The association presented the award as part of its 2022 Leadership Summit at the Marcus Whitman Hotel in Walla Walla, Wash., May 15-17.
Mount Carmel’s falls reduction program began in July 2020, when caregivers noticed an increase in patient falls in the months prior in their acute care unit. Upon investigation, they determined that the cause stemmed not from lack of completing falls assessments – which are regularly done to assess patient vulnerability to falling while in the hospital – but in inconsistent interventions to prevent falls and in inconsistent practice in determining who is at risk of falling. Using best practices, hospital officials developed and implemented a new program to better care for their patients.
The new program created standardized signage with yellow armbands and socks, implemented the Falls TIPS (Tailoring Interventions for Patient Safety) program, created a “no pass zone” that creates a culture where everyone on staff has responsibility to ensure patient needs and safety are met, and implemented dementia education to increase awareness of challenging behaviors that can increase patient falls.
The program’s results were so positive that hospital leaders shared the program with their sister hospital, Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Chewelah, Wash., 22 miles away.
“The falls reduction program at Providence Mount Carmel represents a model for hospital safety improvement,” said Darcy Jaffe, WSHA senior vice president for safety and quality. “The entire medical community works together to keep patients safe, but things like falls are bound to happen from time to time. The hospital’s work to analyze the problem, develop a plan, implement the plan and track the results with hard data is worthy of this recognition. The results they achieved reflect a great success.”
Providence Mount Carmel’s falls reduction program was one of seven from across the state nominated for the 2022 honor. The other nominees include Sedro-Woolley’s PeaceHealth United General Medical Center for its sepsis prevention program, Ilwaco’s Ocean Beach Hospital for its transitional care management/medication reconciliation program, Shelton’s Mason Health for its work meeting patient language needs, White Salmon’s Skyline Health for its work with population health management, and Providence St. Joseph Hospital for its falls prevention work.