Fall Prevention, Patient Monitoring, and Anti-Wandering Solutions
Fall Prevention is a great concern facing health care today. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has concluded that falls are the leading cause of injury deaths and the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma among patients 65 years and older.1 Each year in the United States, nearly one third of older adults experience a fall.2 Recent compliance regulations, as outlined by the Joint Commission’s Patient Safety Goals and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) guidelines, have created increased urgency for the prevention of patient/resident falls.3
We can help health care facilities, as well as those caring for a loved one at home, to improve fall management by providing a number of useful products to be used in conjunction with a comprehensive fall management program. Patient safety alarms, have been highlighted by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) as a tool that can be used to promote improved monitoring of persons at risk for falling.4 When used properly, patient alarms can alert caregivers when a fall-risk candidate is on the move.
Alarms and other monitoring devices are particularly important when the person being monitored has Alzheimer’s disease. The disease’s progression will eventually effect balance more profoundly than simply aging; it will effect vision, especially depth perception. For these and other reasons associated with Alzheimer’s, the likelihood of falling is increased in persons with the disease.
Other Alzheimer’s symptoms, most notably wandering and sleep disorders, also increase the need for a well designed monitoring system.
1Falls Among Older Adults: An Overview: http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/factsheets/adultfalls.htm
2Costs of Falls Among Older Adults: http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/factsheets/fallcost.htm
32009 National Patient Safety Goals: http://www.jointcommission.org/GeneralPublic/NPSG/09_npsgs.htm, Hospital-Acquired Conditions: http://www.cms.hhs.gov/HospitalAcqCond/06_Hospital-Acquired_Conditions.asp
4FAQs for the 2007 National Patient Safety Goals: http://www.jointcommission.org/NR/rdonlyres/D4844675-25D7-4B5B-A47DC549D939F9E5/ 0/07_NPSG_FAQs_9.pdf
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