Patient Safety in 2016
There is nothing more important in the world of healthcare than patient safety. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has even said that they consider patient safety as being "indistinguishable from the delivery of quality health care." Above all else, when a patient is in the care of others, they and their loved ones want to rest assured that their safety is being considered and taken seriously.
Patient safety products are crucial when caring for a patient who may be prone to falling or otherwise putting themselves or others at risk. We are certainly conscious of patient safety and are here to help. In this article, we will deal specifically with fall protection and detail some of the products that can greatly enhance the safety of an experience in a hospital or care facility.
Falls are among the leading causes of injuries among the elderly. Of course it's no secret that when people age, they become more fragile, so falls can be very serious for elderly individuals, as well as incredibly expensive. Among other things, falls can lead to hip fractures and hip fractures are no joke. They can greatly decrease individuals' overall health, and make people 5 to 20 percent more likely to die than any other age group. Furthermore, those who have fallen often require long-term or intensive assistance or nursing facility care.
Safety Around the House
There are some simple and effective steps that can be taken to not only enhance the safety of any care facility, but to greatly reduce the risk of falling around the house as well. In addition to ensuring that walking paths are clear, loose cords are out of the way, and rugs and carpets are tightened or completely removed, there are some tools that you can put into place to make for a safer living space as well. Such as grab bars that aid in standing and getting in and out of the bathtub; shower chairs, which give individuals prone to instability a way to shower without the difficulty of standing up; raised toilet seats, which offer increased stability and ease in getting on and off of the commode; and reachers that can help with getting those out-of-the-way items off the shelf.
Another item that can greatly improve the patient's lives via increased safety and comfort is a pair of non-skid socks. These socks are available in a wide variety of styles, but most feature a tread or skid-resistant rubber sole, and are usually much warmer than standard socks, much more like a house slipper. No matter the style, they all offer greater traction and decrease the chance of slipping and falling, whether at home or in the hospital.
While tripping or stumbling while moving is certainly the most common type of falling, it is not the only kind. Many individuals are also prone to falling out of bed while sleeping. It's a common misconception that this a problem that only occurs during childhood, but it can actually happen during any stage in life. To prevent patients and loved ones from rolling out of bed, bed safety rails can be set in place, safeguarding against fall-related injuries. There are bed safety rails for all bed sizes. Keep in mind that hospital bed rails are different than homestyle bedrails. Be sure to select the correct rails for your specific bed.
Aside from bed rails, fall mats like the Tri-Fold Bedside Fall Protection Mat can offer protection from falls by providing a high-density layer of foam to absorb impact and drastically reduce the risk of injury.
Medical Alarm Monitoring
Another great way to enhance the safety of your patients or loved ones is by installing a patient safety alarm. There are several different types of patient alarms, from door alarms to bed alarms, all convenient and easy to use. These alarms give caregivers the ability to monitor the activity of patients or loved ones who may be prone to either falling out of bed, wandering, or sleep walking and potentially putting themselves or others at risk of harm.
Fall-related injuries can also lead to extensive and long-lasting rehabilitation. Certain safety aids can definitely make rehabilitation safer and smoother. One of those is a safety roller. Safety rollers are similar to standard walkers, but have four wheels as opposed to the typical two or none, enabling people who struggle walking the ability to move a bit more fluidly while also receiving sturdy support. There are both posterior, or rear facing, and anterior, or front facing safety rollers. Whichever you choose, they are all ideal for stabilizing individuals during rehabilitation and recovery. For some patients for which rehabilitation is not likely, patient lifts and transport chairs are better suited to meet their needs. One good example is the 4-in-1 Body Up Evolution Patient Lift that serves as a commode chair, bath/shower chair, indoor wheel chair or transfer chair.
We hope this has enriched your understanding of the options available to you to enhance your patients or loved ones' safety in 2016 and that you continue to have a safe and happy year.
Jared Soper, Author