EMMC Nurses Lead Effort to Decrease Patient Falls

11/23/2015

nurses_decrease_fall_rate_EMMC.jpg(Bangor, Maine) – Over the past three years, EMMC nurses and nursing technicians have participated in a focused, hospital-wide effort to prevent patient falls in the hospital, and their work has paid off: between 2013 and 2015, EMMC’s fall rate has decreased by nearly 10 percent. 
 
Although EMMC’s fall rate was already among the lowest in Maine, EMMC staff believed further improvement was possible by fully implementing some of the best approaches being used at other hospitals to reduce falls. One of the most successful strategies is ensuring patients are walking on the same day as their surgery whenever possible.
 
“Walking after surgery increases blood flow and stimulates healing,” explains Connie Brown, RN, BSN, nurse manager, EMMC Merritt 3 Medical/Surgical. “We know that getting patients moving early reduces the risk of hospital complications such as pneumonia, pressure ulcers, and blood clots.”
 
EMMC has a comprehensive fall prevention program for patients that includes close monitoring, assessing individual patient needs, and taking steps to reduce fall risk, such as locating certain patients near the nurses’ station, rounding on patients frequently, and using bed alarms.
 
These efforts have contributed to EMMC receiving national recognition. Safe patient care practices have earned EMMC another “A” from The Leapfrog Group, an independent national organization that uses publicly reported data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and other sources to grade healthcare facilities and help patients select the safest hospitals. This is EMMC’s eighth consecutive top rating for the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Score, which assigns ratings to US hospitals based on many safety factors, including surgical outcomes, preventable medical errors, infections, and more.
 
Three other EMHS hospitals earned an “A” rating including Inland Hospital in Waterville, Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth, and The Aroostook Medical Center in Presque Isle.
 
To see how Maine hospitals rate in the Leapfrog survey, visit HospitalSafetyScore.org.

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For more information, please contact EMMC Community Relations at emmcmediarequest@emhs.org or (207) 973-9530.