A fall refers to an unfortunate and unintentional drop to the surface by a patient in a medical facility. Many factors may result in this unexpected incident which may or may not produce injury to the individual. Firstly, slippery surfaces cause the highest numbers of accidental descents in hospitals. These floors may either be wet or, naturally smooth and glassy thereby reducing the level of grip in the shoes. Secondly, a shortage of staff in a facility may reduce the number of people watching a patient, thereby increasing the exposure of patients to such incidences (JacksonWhite Law, 2019). Another factor that may directly contribute to the falling of individuals in caregiving institutions is poorly lit environments which may cause patients to hit objects and fall, increasing the danger of injuries.
Fortunately, hospitals stand a good chance of preventing these undesirable incidences in their environments. Although there are no clear-cut methods that guarantee zero falling occurrences, a well-developed plan would ensure that the numbers reduce significantly. A hospital may begin by first identifying individuals who are most likely to fall due to their age or other individualistic characteristics. General prevention strategies involve ensuring that all environments have enough lighting especially those areas most visited by patients, and, the installing of non-slip floors to ensure there is adequate control on movement by individuals in the hospitals. Hospitals may, on certain occasions, offer safe footwear to counter risky surfaces (AHRQ, 2019).
Additionally, these institutions can establish a policy that requires patients to be within caregivers’ sight on a fulltime basis. Such systems could go hand in hand with technological applications such as bed alarms that alert nurses and doctors if individuals are struggling out of their places of rest. Cultural interventions may also come in handy especially in ensuring that all interested parties understand that preventing falls is a joint responsibility, from staff to patients and even guardians. This approach is achievable through intensified training programs to ensure that all members of the hospital have adequate education on ways to prevent falling incidences by patients (Spiva et al., 2014).
AHRQ. (2019). Falls | AHRQ Patient Safety Network. Retrieved from https://psnet.ahrq.gov/primers/primer/40/falls
JacksonWhite Law. (2019). Causes of Falls for Patients in Hospitals | Hospital Negligence Stats. Retrieved from https://www.jacksonwhitelaw.com/az-personal-injury/causes-of-falls-for-patients-in-hospitals/
Spiva, L., Robertson, B., Delk, M. L., Patrick, S., Kimrey, M. M., Green, B., & Gallagher, E. (2014). Effectiveness of team training on fall prevention. Journal of nursing care quality, 29(2), 164-173.