Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center
In 2009, a trend was identified at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo. Upon analysis, it was discovered that the patient fall rate exceeded the state average and that the rate of falls with injury was experiencing an upward trend.
Armed with this data, Sierra Vista’s chief nursing officer approached the hospital’s interdisciplinary Patient Safety Committee and asked that a plan to significantly reduce the number and severity of falls be put into place as soon as possible. The Patient Safety Committee embraced this mandate and immediately appointed a Falls Champion to oversee the newly formed Falls Subcommittee.
Over the next several months, this group revised policies, educated staff, patients and families, and successfully advocated for capital funds for fully functioning bed alarms, chair alarms and other resources to identify and protect at risk patients. Other initiatives included installing restraint devices on the medical units, instituting post-op fall assessments and conducting review of all patient falls to evaluate causes and institute process improvements.
This focused effort has reduced patient falls 23 percent over the past two years.