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In Part 1 of our three-part series on falls prevention technology, we reviewed the role of technology in falls prevention and discussed how you can evaluate available technologies. Part 2 focused on how to integrate technology into a comprehensive fall prevention program. Part 3 will address how to optimize your use of technology.
Unless otherwise noted, the information in this blog derives from a Posey ® white paper1 written by Cynthia Saver and published by TIDI Products, LLC.
Integrating technology options of all types, ranging from floor mats to chair and toilet sensors, into an organization’s fall prevention program helps to enhance its effectiveness. This starts with thoughtful evaluation of potential technology to ensure it supports patient safety and fits into clinicians' workflow.
By following a few steps — such as careful patient assessment, thorough education for patients and families, regular monitoring and follow-up, and routine assessment of staff competencies — clinicians and organizations can keep staff and patients safe. These efforts will ensure that technology is effectively incorporated into care that is truly patient-centered and yields optimal outcomes.
COVID-19 protocols. COVID-19 and its variants have made falls prevention efforts more difficult. For example, airflow requirements result in closed doors to patient rooms, limiting visual observation, and the need to add equipment such as HEPA filters increases noise levels, which contribute to distractions. In addition, nurses responding to alarms are delayed by having to don personal protective equipment before entering the room of a patient with COVID-19, and then removing that equipment before responding to an alarm from the room of another patient.
Staffing shortages. With many clinicians leaving hospital systems or long-term care settings, staff are often stretched too thin. This staff reduction, combined with prolonged work hours, may have serious consequences. For example, during the second quarter of 2020, rates of falls that caused major injury increased by 17.4% in skilled nursing facilities, according to data submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.2 In addition, a report from the American Nurses Association notes that inadequate nurse-patient ratios increase fall risk, while higher RN staffing levels reduce inpatient falls.3
To provide caregivers greater flexibility when monitoring patients at risk of a fall, TIDI Products has developed the Posey On Cue® PRO platform. This wireless technology solution utilizes an alarm, a wireless chair sensor pad, and a wireless nurse call adapter.
Key advantages of this versatile falls prevention technology platform include:
For facilities that are not fully committed to wireless technology, the On Cue PRO platform is also compatible with traditional (wired) Posey sensors and nurse call systems.
To evaluate the effectiveness of the On Cue PRO platform, a pilot was conducted on a variety of units in academic and community acute care hospitals in six states from September 2021 through March 2022, with facilities and timing staggered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A survey was distributed to clinicians in participating hospitals to determine user satisfaction and effect on patient safety. In all, 98% of survey respondents said they would advocate using the product in their facility. Furthermore, 97% either agreed or strongly agreed that they would recommend the product (see the respondent data presented in the bar chart below).4A high percentage of the respondents also agreed or strongly agreed with the following statements:
We also encourage you to learn more about our new Posey On Cue PRO wireless technology solution for falls prevention.
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