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How Androscoggin Valley Hospital Used New Technology to Reduce Patient Falls
Androscoggin Valley Hospital (AVH) is a 25 bed critical access hospital located in the white mountains of New Hampshire. AVH may be small, but the hospital is home to a wide variety of services and technologies that place it on the level of much larger facilities.
Click Here to See the Dalcon/Polycom AVH Success Story PDF
The staff at Androscoggin is serious about fall prevention. Patients are assessed for fall risk factors upon admission and at each shift. Patients determined to be at risk of falling are placed in a special program called the “ruby slippers” program. The ruby slippers program is designed to make staff aware of a patient’s fall status and put additional preventative measures in place, such as ambulation assistance. Ruby slipper patients and their families are educated on the seriousness and importance of the program.
Investing in New Fall Prevention Technology
Kirk 4040 with Bed Fall Alert
AVH uses Stryker bed alarm systems for ruby slipper patients who are disoriented or unable to follow directions or call for assistance. When a patient on bed alarm begins to sit up to get out of bed, the Stryker bed sets off an audible alarm. Additionally, this bed alarm is captured by AVH’s Dalcon Alert Remote Patient Monitoring system. Dalcon Alert forwards the bed alarm directly to Kirk phones carried by hospital staff. The wireless phones receive a text message that communicates the location and type of alarm. As a result, clinicians know exactly which room to respond to decreasing the time of response.
When responding to a fall alarm, time is of the utmost importance. A few seconds can be the difference between finding a patient still trying to get out of bed, and finding a patient on the floor. As an added measure to buy clinicians more time to respond, Dalcon Alert relays audible announcements in the patient room telling the patient to “please get back into bed, your nurse is on the way” when a bed alarm is tripped.
The emphasis Androscoggin has placed on fall prevention has been successful. Since implementing Dalcon Alert and incorporating the system’s fall prevention technology into their fall policy, AVH’s fall rate has dropped significantly.
The average fall rate, measured in percentage of patients who fall for the three quarters Dalcon Alert has been installed at AVH is 0.43%. The average fall rate for the three quarters before the Dalcon Alert installation was 0.67%. Thus the average for the three quarters after installing Dalcon Alert resulted in 36% fewer falls than the average for the three quarters prior to Dalcon Alert being installed.