Building a Stronger Fall Prevention Strategy with Mobility Programs
Prolonged bed rest brings many new problems for patients with chronic conditions. From pressure injuries to skeletal dysfunction, patients who have suffered a major setback might struggle to get back on their feet without the help of continuous mobility programs. Furthermore, patients who have just relearned mobility experience a greater risk of falling and becoming bedridden once more.
Clinical leadership and care teams want patients to improve, not deteriorate into worse conditions. They often put into place mobility programs as a part of their fall prevention resources. Once patients have relearned how to walk and care for themselves, they are less likely to fall and experience severe injuries or fatalities.
But this is easier said than done: One study found that 83% of a patient's time is spent in bed, while 73% of patients who can walk do not walk. Many experience dizziness, pain, and fatigue. These patients also fear that getting up will do them more harm than good.
Updating Mobility Programs to Fit Patient Needs
Nurses know that every patient comes with different challenges, depending on their current conditions, injuries, and history. A falls management program might push them to walk more, but a one-size-fits-all initiative will not necessarily motivate all the patients in a facility.
Mobility programs take high-risk patients recovering from surgery, illness, or an injury and teach them to walk again. But it does not need to stop there; continuous mobility programs through the continuum of care can benefit all patients. Walkers, medical equipment, and care teams typically play a role in this initiative.
Programs need to evaluate the needs of certain patients to work with their strengths and weaknesses. Some patients may need more advanced, hands-on assistance, while others might be able to walk independently. Interview patients, care teams, and family members to ensure a mobility program will help them regain confidence.
Mobility Programs By the Numbers
The American Journal of Nursing found that mobility programs positively affected patients. It lowered the number of significant falls, reduced the number of pressure injuries, and lessened the number of days spent in bed.
According to another study, patients who experienced robust falls management programs reduced their excess days in a facility by 6%. Their readmission rates decreased from 25% to 19%, and 76% of patients maintained or improved their mobility scores.
These programs also help clinics and facilities to improve their overall reputation. Patients who participated in a mobility program were more willing to recommend the facility by 30%.
Stopping Falls Before They Happen
Care and attention can help falls stop before they even happen. As part of a strong falls management strategy, continuous mobility programs can help patients learn how to use equipment to help them regain independence. They also can learn how to cope with sudden dizziness, establish a list of who to call in an emergency, and strategically work with their care team to reduce symptoms that harm their ability to function.
Continuous falls management programs can also help patients manage the aftermath of a fall that caused them to lose mobility or independence. They can understand what went wrong and learn more about how to stop these falls in the future.
Transform Your Mobility Program With Joerns
Joerns Healthcare understands the constant struggle to keep up with lifesaving technology and methods, especially in smaller clinics and facilities. Our fall prevention resources, equipment, and strategies for implementation can help you get back on your feet to serve your patients. Keeping people in the best of health is your number one priority, and it's our priority too.
Contact us today to learn more about updating your mobility programs.