At Humber River Regional Hospital, the tracking of patients at risk for falls begins in the Emergency Department. Tracking starts at triage and continues through the inpatient processes upon admission to a unit. Each Monday, we follow up with patients who were deemed at risk when they were admitted; this is done through the Corporate Patient Safety Checklist section of the patient’s care plan. We also conduct follow ups after a fall, a change in patient status, or upon transfer to another unit. The organization has been positively impacted in that all staff have been educated and made aware of their role in patient safety, staff members use effective documentation screens and communication tools, we developed educational pamphlets for patients and their families, there are organizational compliance audits every 6 weeks as well as monthly statistical reviews at the unit level (conducted by the unit manager and Clinical Practice Leaders to identify trends and implement changes in practice), and organizational reporting is done by a risk management specialist, an annual data report is presented by the Lead for the Falls Prevention Program to Program Directors, Corporate Leadership Committees, and at program meetings. The Falls Prevention and Least Restraint Committee uses the evaluation information to make improvements to the Falls Prevention Program. This practice is initiated in the ER, is adaptable to the post-surgical 24-hour high risk assessment for all post-operative patients, and allows for a cumulative electronic picture of falls (including severity) during a patient’s current and previous admission(s).
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