The Falls Prevention Strategy at Niagara Health System is expanding across all of our sites to help prevent and reduce falls, and this patient safety strategy will be implemented in all inpatient areas over the coming months.
“We need to ensure patients in our care are as safe as possible, and key to achieving this mandate is identifying patients at risk of falling and having the processes in place to prevent falls,” says Dr. Sue Matthews, NHS Interim President and CEO. “The NHS Falls Prevention Strategy requires that every patient be assessed for their level of risk within 24 hours of being admitted to hospital or being transferred to a new unit.”
The Falls Prevention Strategy was launched in December 2013 on four inpatient units at our Douglas, Greater Niagara General, St. Catharines and Welland sites. The strategy has since expanded to a total of 13 units across all of our sites and will expand to more than 20 units in all.
The strategy emphasizes the need for patients to use their call bell for help before getting out of bed, and includes signage with a Risk of Falls symbol on patient room doors, on their charts as well as magnets by their bedside. There are handouts for patients to educate them and their families about the strategy, and special equipment, including non-skid socks, are available for patient use on the demonstration units.
In addition, the NHS Corporate Communications Department has produced a Falls Prevention video to help raise awareness of the Falls Prevention Strategy.
“All patients are at some risk for falls. By identifying patients who may be at a higher risk of falling, perhaps due to age, medications, a mental or physical condition, we are able to put additional strategies in place to help prevent and reduce falls,” says Susan Kwolek, Vice President Patient Services. “We can all make a difference in keeping our patients safe and also reducing Emergency Department visits and hospital stays due to a fall.”
Caroline Bourque Wiley, 905-378-4647, ext. 43113; firstname.lastname@example.org