Why CNOs Should Prioritize Population-Based Risk Factors in Falls Prevention
A warning sign appears across the screen as a tech or a nurse’s assistant types in the new medication for a patient. This type of medication may lead to a fall, and a falls prevention strategy is recommended. However, the warning sign has flashed with every entry today, alarm fatigue is common and the tech may ignore it.
Falls affect multiple demographics, including those older than 65, those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, those on specific medications, and those who live in a nursing community or long-term patient facility. Assessing each patient on a case-by-case basis will not always prevent a fall–a perfectly healthy patient on medication that makes them dizzy is at high risk for a fall, while someone who has fallen before may not fall again.
CNOs and care teams will need to adjust programs accordingly to have more of an effect. Every medical professional knows that no one-size-fits-all strategy works for everyone. Your new falls prevention program should make sure to consider population-based risk factors so that it may prevent even more accidents.
Enhance Safety By Targeting At-Risk Populations With A Falls Prevention Strategy
Specific groups of people are more likely to fall than others. Rather than apply a broad approach to your entire medical facility regarding fall prevention, consider identifying the most at-risk groups and spending more time and attention on their prevention programs. The whole community can always use more education on falls prevention, but they do not need to be monitored for falls.
Assess the history of falls in your facility. What is the common denominator in each incident? Medical studies have found that those over 65 suffer more falls. In addition, women are more likely to fall than men. However, this may only sometimes be the case in your facility. Analyze the data at hand to devise a customized approach that targets those needing more care.
Update Equipment To Match Your Falls Prevention Strategy
Assistants and caretakers are less likely to pay attention to a catch-all falls prevention strategy that may not apply to certain patients. Implementing a better fall assessment upon intake can mean that nurses and care teams can immediately label a patient they believe is a fall risk. This will allow more personalized ownership to the care staff, increasing the liklihood of compliance. It is essential o gather all the information about a patient during the intake assessment from other care teams and physicians.
Certain medical data trackers can also be programmed to send out an alert when a patient has one or more comorbidities that may interfere with their balance. Cognitively impaired patients are not always at risk for a fall, but their chances increase when they have vision problems, the medication affecting their gait, and a chronic health condition.
Not every patient will need a bed or bathroom alarm, but some populations need them no matter what, just in case. For a patient who is a serious fall risk, with multiple comorbidities and a history of severe falls, care teams should add more technology, such as wearable devices and a modified environment.
Patient And Family Education Saves The Day
Interactive engagement, access to online medical records, and educational material are all different ways to engage with patients and their caretakers. By alerting them to the serious risk of a fall, care teams can improve the chances of avoiding serious falls.
Consider hosting online seminars for patients at risk, an open house for the families of patients, or even charity drives for patients who cannot afford to change their at-home environment to prevent falls.
Strategize Population-Based Risk Factors With Joerns Healthcare
Joerns Healthcare believes in taking a practical approach when applying different falls mangement strategies in your facility. Whether you need new equipment to help elderly patients at risk of falls or better asset management to have equipment prepared when new patients arrive, we can help find solutions that make sense for your facility. Contact us today to learn more about what we offer and how we can help you care for your patients.