Risk Management: Falls

Essay by kmb1981rnUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, September 2009

download word file, 5 pages 0.0

Today's health care system is continuously changing especially with all the concern with hospital reimbursement and patient satisfaction scores. These days risk management plays a critical role in the health care setting by identifying potential risks that could possibly affect reimbursement and satisfaction scores though means such as audits, incident reports, patient and family comments "good" or "bad" and patient surveys. Potential risks are analyzed and evaluated and then a plan or a program is formed to reduce the incidence and severity of accidents and injuries (Sullivan & Decker, 2009). This paper will discuss a program that the American Nurses Association (ANA), Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Joint Commission all have in common, that is increasing patient safety by preventing patient falls. Even though patient falls are at times unavoidable in an acute care setting, the objective is to decrease the number of patient falls and reduce the risk of injury to the patient resulting from a fall.

In the beginning of December 2008, a Cardiovascular Progressive Care Unit (PCU) in a Banner Health facility had a sentinel event, which is defined by the Joint Commission as an unexpected occurrence involving death or serious injury (Quigley, Neily, Watson, Wright, & Strobel, 2007). An elderly patient fell, not just once but twice on the same shift on a PCU that was staffed with one core member and three float nurses who were not familiar with the fall policy. The Patients Morse Risk scale was high and still no fall precautions were ever initiated. Risk management became involved after the second fall due to the severity of the injury caused by the fall, which ultimately resulted in the patients' death by causing a head bleed. Because, the author was a Resource Person (RP) on PCU the day of...