Healthcare News & Insights

Prevent patient falls in your hospital

Patient falls are a major concern for any hospital, since patients are often at their most vulnerable and confused while hospitalized. Having clear and thorough fall prevention methods can go a long way toward making sure your patients stay safe during their hospital stays. 

No matter how advanced your facility may be, it’s likely you haven’t completely eliminated patient falls. Especially when patients are older or disabled, falls can be a constant danger at any hospital.

Luckily, there are ways to improve your fall prevention program and significantly reduce the rate of falls in your facility.

One of those strategies is using the Fall T.I.P.S. toolkit, developed by Dr. Patricia Dykes at Harvard Medical School.

Fall T.I.P.S.

The Fall T.I.P.S. (Tailoring Interventions for Patient Safety) toolkit links each patient’s fall risk factors with tailored interventions and communicates fall prevention plans to all members of a patient’s care team, according to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The T.I.P.S. toolkit is available both electronically and via a laminated paper copy. It lays out the three key steps in fall prevention:

  1. Conducting a fall risk assessment to determine major risk factors for each patient
  2. Creating a tailored fall prevention plan based on those individual risk factors, and
  3. Consistently implementing the plan.

Per an article in the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, training is another critical component of the toolkit. Holding training sessions for staff members is essential, since it increases buy-in and helps staff understand the importance of regularly using these prevention methods.

Other fall prevention strategies

Using the Fall T.I.P.S. toolkit isn’t the only way to reduce falls in your organization. Three other strategies are:

Quick responses to bed alarms and call lights can also make a significant difference in fall rates at your hospital, since many patients fall when trying to use the bathroom or perform other routine actions unassisted.

Patient falls are commonplace in facilities, but they can be reduced with a careful assessment of risks and a concentrated effort to change the status quo.

For more information on fall prevention in hospitals, sign up for an upcoming webinar with Dr. Patricia Dykes, creator of the Fall T.I.P.S. toolkit.

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