Patients are often in a weakened or confused state in hospital, and are more susceptible to falling. Falls are a leading cause of hospital-acquired injury, and frequently prolong or complicate hospital stays. At Darwin Private Hospital we document and investigate every fall and take action to reduce the number of falls that occur.
This graph shows the number of falls in Darwin Private Hospital for the past 5 years, compared with the rate typical in other hospitals from Australia, the UK and the USA. Falls are presented as a percentage of patient days – allowing us to compare Darwin Private Hospital with other hospitals of a different size. Patients at Darwin Private Hospital on average have a lower rate of falls than those in other hospitals.
The number of falls at Darwin Private Hospital is much lower than expected for a hospital of this size. Whilst this may appear to be positive, it is believed that staff are not always reporting every fall in the incident reporting system. Reporting is important, as it allows us to analyse reasons for falls or near-falls and focus on preventing them in future. Education has been carried out at Darwin Private Hospital to ensure that all staff are aware of the requirement for reporting of any fall.
See details on: How we work out our falls rate
For a discussion on the data, see: Limitations of data
What we are doing to further reduce falls
- Assessment of all patients for risk of falls
- Implementation of precautions to reduce the risk of falling for example:
- Non-slip socks
- Bed and chair sensors which detect patient moving from bed
- Use of lifting equipment and walking aids
- Analysis of falls incidents
- Spot audits to provide information about environmental factors
How can you help?
At Darwin Private Hospital, you, as a patient or visitor are part of the health care team. Print a brochure containing handy hints about preventing falls in hospital and at home. You can also watch a helpful video.