Tuesday, 30 October 2012

5 Reasons Why Patient Falls Should be Your Facility’s Top Priority

5 Reasons Why Patient Falls Should be Your Facility’s Top Priority

1.       Keeping patients safe from fall injuries is one of The Joint Commission’s Hospital Accreditation Standards

Initially a National Patient Safety Goal created by The Joint Commission, addressing and managing patients’ risk for falls became a Hospital Accreditation Standard in 2010.

Standard PC.01.02.08
The hospital addresses and manages the patient’s risk for falls.

This means that critical access hospitals must act in accordance with this standard, and facilities looking to become accredited by The Joint Commission must also satisfy these standards.

Patients often look to ratings, reviews, and accreditations when choosing a hospital for care. Meeting The Joint Commission’s Hospital Accreditation Standards gives patients peace of mind and helps ensure that hospitals are providing safe and effective care in accordance with nationally recognized standards.

2.       Falls from the hospital bed are associated with serious complications

Falls from the hospital bed can result in serious injuries including fractures, dislocations, and brain injuries. It should be a facility’s top priority to provide a patient with a safe environment and reduce the risk of falls and associated injuries.

A patient fall can also result in a loss of self-confidence, which can lead to uncertainty in a patient’s abilities and cause repeat falls. A patient may be unwilling to be active and mobile after a devastating fall, which can further increase the risk of repeated falls.

Patients who have experienced a fall in the past are 3 times more likely to experience future falls. By minimizing the initial risk, hospitals can prevent complications from injuries and self-confidence that can increase the prevalence of patient falls.

3.       Hospitals are no longer reimbursed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid for patient falls

As of October 1, 2008, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) has stopped reimbursing hospitals for the additional cost of care when treating a patient harmed by a Hospital Acquired Condition (HAC). Patient fall injuries including fractures, dislocations, and brain injuries are classified as reasonably preventable errors that will no longer be paid for by the CMS.

The average Medicare payment for the treatment of injuries from a patient fall was $24,962. Given the frequency of patient falls, this HAC could add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in treatment costs alone for individual hospitals each year.

Reducing the rate of falls in your facility could not only save millions of dollars over the span of a decade, but it will improve patient safety throughout your facility.

4.       Patients who fall stay in the hospital longer

Patient falls are the most common Hospital Acquired Condition in the United States, accounting for 75% of all inpatient incidents. On average, patients who experience a fall in the hospital are treated for 12.3 days longer than patients who did not experience a fall.

By reducing the number of falls that occur in the hospital, patient turnover can increase. Not only do hospital-acquired falls cost hospitals money, but treating patients who have experienced falls reduces bed availability. Hospitals can improve efficiency and reduce patient wait times by implementing fall reduction strategies and creating a safer environment for patients.

5.       Seniors are more likely to experience falls

Today, 1 in 5 senior patients are expected to experience a fall in a hospital setting. By 2030, it is expected that seniors will account for over 50% of all hospital admissions and will occupy 59% of available hospital beds. Consequently, more seniors in the hospital means more falls will occur in the hospital setting.

Every year, millions of baby boomers are turning 65 and become part of the prime demographic of falls. Creating strategies to minimize the risk of patient falls today will help reduce the number of expected senior falls in the future.

CHG Hospital Beds specializes in low hospital beds that are designed to prevent patient falls and related injuries within acute care environments. We are focused on patient and nurse safety and deliver innovative solutions to meet the needs of our customers.

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