Categorized | Health

New Kona hospital falls program reduces risks

Special to Hawaii 24/7 by Emily Mendez-Bryant | Kona Community Hospital Community Relations

Kona Community Hospital (KCH) recently took steps to enhance its falls reduction program. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations began adding National Patient Safety Goals that included reducing falls and prevention of harm from falls; an initiative that has come to the forefront.

Although it has received national attention, not all hospitals have implemented a formal falls program. At KCH, the Performance Improvement department has taken the lead and has developed a successful program to ensure that the risk of falls is reduced.

Marcy Rogers, KCH’s Assistant Administrator for Clinical Quality Improvement said, “Our hospital takes great pride in the quality of care provided to every patient that comes through our door. We want to be confident that we are providing the best care, and the new additions to the Falls Program are a prime example of our efforts to improve patient care for our community.”

The Institute of Healthcare Improvement states, “Patient falls are among the most common occurrences reported in hospitals and are a leading cause of death in people ages 65 or older. Of those who fall, as many as half may suffer moderate to severe injuries that reduce mobility and independence, and increase the risk of premature death. About 50 percent of older adults hospitalized for hip fracture never regain their previous level of function. Ten percent of fatal falls for older adults occur in hospitals.”

Within the year, KCH has created a multidisciplinary Falls Prevention Team, established a risk analysis and concurrent review of fall data, performed hospital-wide environmental safety rounds, and initiated hourly rounding which enables nurses to assist in a timely manner when needed.

Referrals are made to inter-department team members such as pharmacy and physical therapy in order for the relevant units to be aware of patient’s needs. This has also led to a revision of Policy and Procedures and Risk Assessment Tool.

Education is another key component of the falls program. Every year, there is a fall education campaign which provides clinical departments’ with information and resources about the program to ensure that they are up-to-date on the policies and procedures, and any new items to the program.

Patients and their families are also presented with educational materials so they can be part of the preventative process.

Moreover, items that have been purchased to assist with this program have been new signage (bright yellow with falling stars) placed on the door and at the bedside, new bright yellow non-skid socks for patients, and a new condition alert bracelet with yellow charm that indicates a fall risk patient.

“Our goal at Kona Community Hospital is to be a leader in the quality of care we provide,” said Earl Greenia, CEO of KCH. “We have recently enhanced our services and programs in many ways, and we continue to look for opportunities that will improve our hospital.”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: