A fall risk assessment tools are designed for you a healthcare professional to use in finding out if your patient have low risk ,moderate or high risk for fall. And recommendations are put in place to prevent falls.
When are patients assessed for fall risk?.
A.Patients are assessed for fall risks upon admission. There are unit specific assessment tools for fall risk in each department.
A confused elderly is high risk for falls.You cannot place a confused patient in regular bed by herself without monitor or sitter because she will fall,no questions about that.
B.Reassess for falls in every shift.
C.Reassess after any fall,notify the doctor, the supervisor and must write incident report, sent to your manager, risk management. The doctor will order some diagnostic tests ( For example CT SCAN of the head or affected areas)
D.Reassessment with any change in patient conditions and notify the doctor.
WHOS IS AT RISK FOR FALLS.
People 65years old and above are at risk for falls. And falls most often are responsible for most of their injuries -related falls. Falls are the leading cause of Admissions for elders.
HOW DO WE PREVENT FALLS WHEN PATIENTS ARE IN HOSPITAL?.
A.Hourly rounding on your patients.
B.Patient call lights within patient reach.
C.Bed should be in low position,bed alarm on,and bed locked.
D. Turn on the night lights at night.
E.Reorient confused patients.
F.Put on the yellow gown on patient and fall signs at patient’s door.
In 2008,the CENTER FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES stopped paying ( NO PAY POLICY)for Hospitals Acquired falls. So many revenues were lost by hospitals they complained but the CMS stood firm in their policy. Hospitals since then have become more committed and put so many measures in place such as sitter rooms, Posey beds,sitters,incident reports. Putting more policies in place to prevent falls. And fall rates have significantly decreased.
NURSES RESPONSIBILITIES IN FALLS PREVENTION.
1.Assessment of falls upon admission, shift change and change in patient conditions.
2. Answer call lights promptly.
3. Reorient confused patients.
4.Patient and family members education.
5.Document patient falls in nurses notes.But don’t mention incident reports in nurses notes.It is not necessary to mention it there.
6.Reassess when moving or placing patient back in bed.
7.Patient assessment and reassessment should be individualized.