Reduce Your Risk of Falling
Look at the person to your left. Now look to the person on your right. If you are all over the age of 65 years, one of you will fall and incur an injury within the next year, either at home or in a medical facility (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality [AHRQ], 2015). If you are under the age of 65, you have the chance of becoming one of millions around the nation who are injured from a fall annually (The Joint Commission [TJC], 2015). At Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County (MHSC), we strive to keep you safe.
Over the past year, MHSC has implemented several actions to help reduce your risk of falling. Upon admission, all patients are screened for fall risk and preventative measures are put in place. This includes use of appropriate footwear when ambulating and encouragement of calling for assistance.
On the medical-surgical unit, safety huddles occur twice every day to identify patients at high risk for falling. Identifying these patients allows for nurses and healthcare team members to take additional actions in preventing falls. These safety interventions have resulted in a 78% decrease in falls at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County over the past year.
“The first line of defense against falls is the patients having awareness of how and when to ask for help. Our goal is to give that information to our patients and their advocates.”
-Lisa Pawlowski, Registered Nurse, Medical-Surgical Unit
If seeking treatment at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County, remember, you are at the center of your care. Speak up! and help us reduce your risk of falling.
· Call, don’t fall! Use your call button while at MHSC to gain assistance before ambulating.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help, that’s what we are here for!
- Let your nurse or healthcare team member know when you are feeling weak, have difficulty ambulating, or need any assistance before you try on your own.
- Wear non-slip socks or footwear when ambulating.
- Lower the height of the bed and side rails.
- Let your provider know if your medication is making you sleepy, dizzy, sluggish, or confused.
Falls can also occur in the home setting. Click here for additional information on how to reduce your risk of falling at home. You can also watch a short video here for additional tips on how to improve your safety.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality [AHRQ]. (2015). Preventing falls in hospitals. Retrieved from http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/systems/hospital/fallpxtoolkit/fallpxtoolkit.pdf
The Joint Commission [TJC]. (2015). Facts about speak up initiatives. Retrieved from http://www.jointcommission.org/speakup.aspx