Patients are often in a weakened or confused state in hospital, and are more susceptible to falling. Falls are a leading cause of hospital-acquired injury, and frequently prolong or complicate hospital stays. At Healthscope hospitals we document and investigate every fall and take action to reduce the number of falls that occur.
This graph shows the number of falls in Healthscope hospitals for the past 5 years, compared with the industry rate. Falls are presented as a percentage of patient days – allowing us to compare Healthscope hospitals with other hospitals of a different size. Patients in Healthscope hospitals on average have a lower rate of falls than those in other hospitals.
*In January 2015, an external audit found an inconsistency in hospital data for 2013. As a result, the chart has been revised and the rate has increased.
See details on: How we work out our falls rate
For a discussion on the data, see: Limitations of data
To view data for each Healthscope hospital, see 'Our Hospitals'
What we are doing to further reduce falls
Reducing the risk of patient harm resulting from falls is one of the patient safety goals of the Australian Commission on Safety & Quality in Healthcare (ACSQHC) . Healthscope has a falls-reduction program that provides guidelines for everyone involved in the care of patients in all of our hospitals. The falls-reduction program includes patient evaluation, interventions, staff education and training, patient education and outcomes assessment.
Improvement strategies may vary from hospital to hospital. Examples are:
- Assessment of all patients for risk of falls
- Implementation of precautions to reduce the risk of falling for example:
- Non-slip socks
- Bed and chair sensors which detect patient moving from bed
- Use of lifting equipment and walking aids
- Analysis of falls incidents
- Spot audits to provide information about environmental factors
- Use of a “traffic light” system where patients are given a red, orange or green tag, which alerts staff to whether the patient is at risk of falling
How can you help?
At Healthscope, you, as a patient or visitor are part of the health care team. Print a brochure containing handy hints about preventing falls in hospital and at home. You can also watch a helpful video.