Title : Decreasing falls in the emergency department by implementing the use of voice activated stretcher alarm pads
Purpose: Identify if the utilization of stretcher alarms pads would decrease the occurrence of patient falls in an Emergency Department (ED) setting
Method: Patients were assessed upon their arrival to the ED and throughout their visit for their risk for fall using the John Hopkin’s approved fall assessment located in the electronic medical record. Patients with a high fall risk score were provided a stretcher alarm pad. The stretcher alarm pad was placed under the patient and then connected to the HillRom bed/nurse call monitoring system, which was attached to the bed. Patients were assessed for any potential skin breakdown before, during and after use of these pads. If a patient attempted to get out of bed, the alarm made a loud audible sound via the alarm as well as through the nurse call light system. ED staff responded immediately to the room to assess and maintain patient safety. The staff member completed the survey tool at the disposition of the patient.
Results: Nurse perception of patient safety prior to the use of the stretcher improved significantly from 2.68 score to 4.70 with implementation of the Stretcher Alarm/pad. Thirteen out of 25 respondents agreed that the use of medications decrease its use as a restraint. Twenty out of 25 staff shared that the stretcher alarm prevented a potential fall with a score of 4.21 and that a sitter was not need with a score of 3.65. The findings also showed no alteration noted in skin integrity while using the pad. During the pilot there were no falls with injury
Conclusion: The key finding is that the pilot study has showed that with providing an additional resource (stretcher alarm pads) for the ED nurse has shown to be beneficial in decreasing medication use as a restraint, and provided another safety net for staff to help to prevent potential falls. This pilot study also encourage the other EDs within our system to provide stretcher alarms pads for staff to initiate on their high risk fall patients.
Key Words: Falls, Stretcher Alarm, Voice Activated Alarm, Emergency Department, Emergency Nurses
Take Away Notes:
• The participants will recognize the impact of using a voice activated (Can use family member’s voice) stretcher alarms had on patient falls with injuries. In addition, using the stretcher, alarm provided additional resource for staff to help prevent falls. Some of the take away for the participants is that during the pilot study the staff reported that in using the stretcher alarm pads helped with decreasing the use of restraints, sedation medications, and the use of sitters