1 May 2013 | Reducing Harm from Falls
Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew is visiting Ward 2 at North Shore Hospital today to see a number of falls prevention initiatives in action.
North Shore Hospital, part of Waitemata District Health Board, has been working for some time to reduce the number of patient falls as part of its overall quality strategy. The strategy outlines Waitemata DHB’s commitment to placing quality and safety at the centre of patient care.
Red non-slip socks and red high-risk wristbands are among initiatives being used at the hospital to identify patients at risk of falling.
“When used as part of a suite of interventions, the red socks and wristbands have real potential to reduce the number of, and harm from, falls in the hospital setting,” says Mrs Goodhew.
The DHB has also introduced several other initiatives to raise falls awareness and prevent falls including display board signage, risk assessment training, extra support for high-risk patients, lower beds and post-fall reviews.
The senior leadership team also reviews patient safety boards and observes quality and safety initiatives in action during a weekly round.
“Having the senior leadership team take a keen interest in quality and safety demonstrates the importance of patient safety to all staff, and reinforces a simple message – patient safety is everyone’s business,” says Mrs Goodhew.
Many of these initiatives have been introduced across four other DHBs in the Northern Region, as part of a regional approach to reducing harm from falls. This work has been guided by the First, Do No Harm Northern Region patient safety campaign.
Waitemata DHB’s focus on falls this month has been part of the ‘April Falls’ initiative which has seen DHBs nationwide focusing on promoting their wide range of ongoing falls awareness and prevention activities.