Just like in any other work environment, in a healthcare work environment, there are numerous risks that patients are most likely to encounter. One of the greatest risks that affect patients in hospitals is patient fall. According to Nyberg & Gustafson, (1995), patient fall has been a common problem in the health care sector. This risk affects all kinds of patients ranging from adults, kids and also to the elderly. Furthermore, studies by Nyberg & Gustafson, (1995) have also reported that the risk of patient fall is more prone in stroke rehabilitation centers. In these centers, patient falls place when the patient is sitting or being transferred to the wheelchair. According to Tutuarima, et al., (1997) there are different possible causes of patient fall, some of them being as a result of intrinsic mechanisms, extrinsic falls and even some of the falls may occur when the patient is in a non-bipedal position. Another kind of patient falls can be grouped without any particular categorization.
It is undeniably true that this patient falls can cause detrimental injuries, minute injuries and some cannot be linked to any injury. Therefore, the severity of injury varies with the kind of the fall. In the long run, the bottom line is that the well-being of the patient has been compromised when they fall. Based on this fact, it is highly prudent that patient falls must be avoided in the greatest way possible. Mostly, patients seek medication from doctors and nurses so that their lives might be saved or reduce the probabilities of death or intensifying injury. Therefore, health care facilities should be areas meant to curb injuries and not to be in any way associated with worsening the condition or the injuries. Adequate and proper mitigation procedures need to be adopted to avoid patient falls. Through research as well as designing effective nursing techniques these falls can be reduced, controlled and even stopped. Patient-hospital trust should be built so as to cure ailments and to foster the relationship. By delivery quality services this can be easily attained. This is because most of the patient falls are associated with mishandling of the patients. Therefore, through service provision the likelihood of mitigating this problem is high.
Effect of human error and system error with regards to patient falls
The primary purpose of nurses and doctors in hospitals is to ensure patient safety. However, reduced attention and neglect results to patient falls as a result of reduced strength which occurs when the functionality of an individual turns abnormal. It is important that all the hospital equipment is in proper work condition. The hospital management as well as patient monitoring system must be effectively working. These systems have to be able to detect patients that can be more prone to falls and must be accorded the highest degree of care. These are mostly the physically weak patients mostly the critically weak patients and the aged patients. Notably, in most situations doctors, nurses, and physicians fail to identify these patients mainly as a result of making assumptions. These weak patients end up being accorded inadequate care and subsequently end up being victims of falls which is caused by lack of keen attention. According to Woods, et al., (1994) human errors takes place when the health care practitioners fail to handle the patients with the much needed or rather the recommended care. Much attention should be given to stroke patients since they record the highest cases of falls.
Similarly, the management of healthcare facilities must ensure that the surrounding environment is at the needed standard and that there is nothing that can cause patient falls. For instance, they must ensure that the floors of the facility are not wet which can easily cause a patient fall. Slippery hospital floors are more likely to cause patient falls. In the case of wet floors, there should be signposts to indicate that the floor is wet. All equipment must also be placed at safe places where they can cause accidents. Improper placement of material can cause accidents. Moreover, the monitoring system must be properly working and be able to take not of any patient that is weak and needs personalized attention.
C) Related insights gained from the high-reliability organizations
Achieving the standards of high-reliability healthcare centers, investors and the hospital management must put into considerations the number of methods so that they can raise the quality of services that are offered. Normally, a high-reliability dispensary and hospital are linked to high-quality services providence and success oriented when it comes to workability and functionalities of the employees of the hospital as well as the hospital in large. To attain this, the investors and the management must put into considerations the below factors.
I) Introduction and betterment of monitoring systems at the hospital
Monitoring of various activities in the hospital is an essential part of the hospital. Through the improved technology and updated systems of monitoring and recording patient information, it is easier to track and improve the performance of the hospital facilities. This will help in managing and reducing the fall of the patients while in the hospital environment. A good example is the CCTV cameras that have played a big role in improving sensitivity that can help in monitoring of patients in the wards as well as the hospital beds, waiting for benches and wheelchairs (John et al. 2004). To attain this, there must be the improvement of the communication system in the hospital. The hospital management must, therefore, ensure that there is an effective communication system as well as a nice set up in the hospital. This will help in bringing the attention of the management at the right time when there is an occurrence of any problem.
II) Employee training
In any organization, for quality service delivery, the employees must be subjected to regular training to sharpen up their skills. Therefore, conducting employing training will help in improving the performance of the hospital workers. Employee training will be aimed at teaching both basic and extra skills that are necessary for the management of the patients in the hospital. This will then help in reducing and curbing the occurrence of human errors while they are conducting their official duties. A good example of how employee training will help in improving the quality of services is when the nurses can be taught how to easily identify the patients that require special attention and tactics that can increase the availability of their services thus stopping the patient fall services.
III) Recruiting and selecting qualified personnel for managerial position and the entire hospital
The success of any organization is directly related to the qualifications of the personnel of the organization. Therefore, recruiting and selecting qualified personnel for managerial positions will enhance the improved performance of the workforce and the entire organization about the delivery of the desired good quality services and uplifting the functionality of the hospital management and the workforce at large.
D) Strategies and tools for determining and reducing risks related to the safety issue
Any organization must put in place tools that will help counter any risk in case of its occurrence. Therefore, the assessment of the healthcare safety can be effectively done by statistically tracking customer satisfaction levels with the services that are offered. It is no doubt that unsatisfied customers will give a negative feedback while satisfied customers on the other side will create a loyalty phenomenon to the hospital (Bates, 2000). To carry out a Risk Assessment in the healthcare sector, the following tools can be employed which must be achieved by attaining the following steps.
Finding out the risk
deciding what will be affected the most?
Evaluating the risks possible in step one and deciding on the precaution measures
Recording your proposed actions, findings and identifying the individuals to lead on which action and finding out the date of implementation
Going through the evaluation and update if necessary.
E) Contribution of family members
Family members must participate in curbing the patient falls risks for their patients that are in the hospital. It is necessary always to have someone to support the patient and monitor him besides the staff of the hospital. This is because the nurses in the hospital may get busy attending to other patients in the hospital or other hospital duties. Therefore, the presence of family members is very important as they keep watch and report risk-related instances as soon as possible for proper actions
Bates, D. W., & Gawande, A. A. (2000). Error in medicine: what have we learned? Annals of internal medicine, 132(9), 763-767.
John H., Irmak T., Greg S., Claire R., and Sarp Y. (2004). Review of Risk-Based Prioritization/Decision-Making Methodologies for Dams.The Goerge Washington University, Washington DC 20052.
Nyberg L. and Gustafson Y., (1995). Patient falls in Stroke Rehabilitation: A Challenge to Rehabilitation strategies. Stroke, 26(5)838-842.
Tutuarima, J. A., Van der Meulen, J. H. P., De Haan, R. J., Van Straten, A., & Limburg, M. (1997). Risk factors for falls in hospitalized stroke patients.Stroke, 28(2), 297-301.
Woods, D. D., Johannesen, L. J., Cook, R. I., & Sarter, N. B. (1994). Behind human error: Cognitive systems, computers and hindsight (No. CSERIAC-SOAR-94-01). DAYTON UNIV RESEARCH INST (URDI) OH.
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