One fall is one too many. And working in a closely knit community hospital like Bright Vision Hospital (BVH) means each staff is responsible in looking out for patients. What happens in another ward isn't just that ward's business.
It's for this reason that BVH started its latest Falls Free initiative. Comprising several staff engagement sessions with intervention and best practice sharing from various departments, the initiative aims at creating a safe environment for patients with high fall risk. This will be done by fostering a culture of shared responsibility, and having a systematic approach to fall prevention.
The Initial stage
Dementia patients are more likely to fall because of their poor safety awareness. "They don't realise their current health condition. So they still think that they are healthy and can walk around," shared Yeung Chee Yan, Nursing Officer at BVH and one of the leads in the Falls Free initiative.
"Lately we noticed an increase number in dementia patients. Most of them are admitted because of hips fracture," continued Chee Yan.
To protect the vulnerable group of patients, a committee was formed with staff from the Nursing, Medical and Rehabilitation Departments. "We shared a lot of interesting ideas during the committee meeting. Having the different departments come together and brainstorm makes a difference," said Chee Yan.
Fostering a safe environment for patients
From those committee discussions were several initiatives. For a start, they conducted three engagement sessions in March for staff to learn more about falls prevention and shared the interventions by different departments.
Nurse Chee Yan showing explaining to staff on one of the interventions during the engagement session
How BVH reduces falls – initiatives by the different departments
Vulnerable and Impulsive Patient (VIP) tag (Nursing) Patients prone to falls are recognised by a green wrist tag. They require supervision by staff and are not safe to move about unassisted.
ABCDE program (Medical) ABCDE stands for Attention, Behavior, Confusion, Drugs and Environment. Staff should observe patients for any changes and inform the doctors based on these five elements.
Fabulous Fall Free Friday (F4) (Medical) The hospital congratulates staff via the internal PA system on Fridays if there are no falls that entire week.
Coaching session (Rehabilitation Department) Sessions are conducted every Thursday to teach patients how to protect themselves from falls.
Good Catch Award Staff can nominate their colleagues who were more alert of patients who may be at risk of falling.
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