NURS 6053 Week 1 Assignment Analysis of a Pertinent Healthcare Issue
Patient Falls Prevention
The national issues that the paper explores relate to falls and injuries that occur within the healthcare setting. Falls and injuries to patients result in increased cost of care and a prolonged length of stay in the hospital setting. Falls prevention in the organizational setting remains a pertinent issue that needs to be addressed by the stakeholders and the leadership. It is the role of the healthcare professional to ensure that quality and safe care is delivered to patients in the hospital setting. For this reason, fall prevention remains one of the key objectives and goals of any healthcare setting (Heng et al., 2020). Falls and injuries acquired in the healthcare setting must be prevented as part of the attainment of safe care. Falls have a wide variety of implications, including the absence of an injury to serious injury and even possible death to the patient. The different forms of physical injury to the patient includes bruising, pain, scratches, hematomas, lacerations, and intracranial bleeding. “The purpose of this paper is to implement strategies that aim to ensure the prevention of falls that occur in the hospital setting”.
Patient Falls and Its Impact On the Organization
Patient falls in the hospital setting are a common occurrence, and they mainly affect an estimated 2% to 17% of all the patients during their hospital stay. Falls lead to an increased level of fear of falling and restriction on the ability of the patient to engage in activities. In addition, other implications of falls to the hospital setting include a prolonged stay of the patient in the hospital. This has an implication to the resulting cost and the resources dedicated to the treatment process of the patients (Heng et al., 2020). The hospital is also legally liable for preventable falls that occur to the patients under the care of the hospital. For this reason, it is important to implement strategies that aim to ensure the prevention of falls, and nurse-led falls preventions strategies have the effect of reducing falls that occur in the hospital setting.
Brief Summary of the Two Articles On Fall Prevention
The article’ hospital falls prevention with patient education: a scoping review’ by Heng et al. (2020) illustrates the reason why hospital falls remain one of the most frequent and debilitating issues across the globe. Notably, the article illustrates the reason why hospitals have prioritized efforts and interventions that target to reduce the frequencies of occurrence of falls within the care setting. Notably, the article illustrates the strategies that have proven effective in the care setting in the prevention of falls and reducing the frequency of occurrence (Heng et al., 2020). The strategies implemented include provision for clinician education and modification of the care environment. Other strategies include the provision for assistive devices and the use of hospital systems that aid in coming up with reviews in relation to the performance of the healthcare setting in terms of the prevention of patient falls. However, the article posits that the roles of patients in the prevention of falls is a topic that has been explored less despite the impact that it can bring about to the care setting and the quality and safety of care. Further, the article illustrates the role of education designs and their contribution in reducing the frequency of falls and injuries that take place in the care setting.
The second article, titled ‘Preventing Falls in Hospitalized Patients: State of the Science’ by LeLaurin and Shorr (2019), affirms the reason why hospital falls remains a significant issue in the healthcare setting. Although there has been a reduction in the frequency of falls that occur in the health setting over the past years, it remains a significant problem that needs intervention. Patient falls are the common adverse event that is most reported in hospitals. Annually, the average of patient falls that occur in the health care setting is between 700,000 to 1 million. The resulting effect is that there are 250,000 injuries and close to 10,000 deaths that occur as a result of falls that take place within the care setting (LeLaurin & Shorr, 2019). The inpatient falls have a resulting effect that is physical as well as an economic burden to the patients. It is linked to an increased mortality rate and reduced quality of life. In addition, it results in the increased lengths of the stay and increased medical care costs to the patient in the care setting, including the possibility of litigations. In 2008, the Centers of the Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) put an end to the option of reimbursement to hospitals as a result of the costs related to fall-related injuries. For this reason, the significant financial pressure due to falls has resulted in hospitals seeking alternatives towards the prevention of fall-related injuries.
Patient Falls as Addressed in Other Organizations
Different healthcare organizations have put in place intervention strategies to aid in preventing the frequency of occurrence of injuries and falls in the care setting. The strategies involve input from all the stakeholders, including the healthcare professional and the patients. Notably, one of the measures that the hospital can put in place is to ensure that there is easy identification of patients that are at higher risk of experiencing falls. High-risk patients must be identified to ensure that close attention is given (LeLaurin & Shorr, 2019). Some of the methods for easy identification of high-risk patients include ensuring that they wear unique clothing or socks. In addition, they can also wear armbands to ensure that the healthcare professions can easily identify them. Another effective strategy used by healthcare organizations entails the use of bed alarms. Bed alarms can be sounded within a short period after the patient is out of bed. This will aid in reducing the length of time that the healthcare professional takes before coming to attend to the patients after a fall
Strategies Used to Address the Organizational Impact of Patient Falls
The staff must be aware and intervene in preventing incidences involving falls in the healthcare setting. In addition, the hospital setting can implement universal fall precautions. The universal falls precautions are the safety measures that are implemented as a way of reducing the chances that falls can occur to the patients in the healthcare setting. All the patients are subject to the universal falls preventions precautions regardless of the risk level of the fall for the patient (LeLaurin & Shorr, 2019). Universal precautions are the safety measures applied in the hospital setting and vary from one hospital to another. One of the measures under the universal fall precaution is multidisciplinary responsibility
Fall prevention is not only the role of the nurses but also involves all the other professionals such as the physicians, therapists, and pharmacists. There is the need to review the medication process and provide appropriate discontinuing medication that is associated with the high risk of falls in the care setting (LeLaurin & Shorr, 2019). Also, there is a need to provide continence management, including frequent assistance to the patients.
Heng, H., Jazayeri, D., Shaw, L., Kiegaldie, D., Hill, A., & Morris, M. (2020). Hospital falls prevention with patient education: a scoping review. BMC Geriatrics, 20(1).
LeLaurin, J., & Shorr, R. (2019). Preventing Falls in Hospitalized Patients. Clinics In Geriatric Medicine, 35(2), 273-283. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cger.2019.01.007