Every year, between 700,000 and 1 million patients in the United States accidentally fall in a hospital, according to research from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). A bad fall can result in a fracture, laceration, internal bleeding and even death. But research indicates that one-third of falls in the hospital can be prevented.
Fall prevention can be achieved through better care team collaboration and communication. Clinical teams work in fast-paced environments, with frequent alarms and nurse call requests. It’s no wonder care teams are challenged to prevent falls. With the right tools and clinical workflows in place, caregivers can become better equipped to support safer in-room patient care.
How can you drive better care team collaboration and care coordination among your hospital’s caregivers? Here are three suggestions, along with ways Amplion Alert can help.
- Implement a structured rounding protocol. A longstanding challenge for caregivers, is actually getting to the patient room on an hourly basis, conducting a “meaningful” round, and then documenting that rounding visit. Rounding is most effective when it is done consistently. Research suggests that hourly rounding can drastically reduce the number of patient falls, particularly when coupled with the use of a next-generation nurse call system.
The Amplion Solution: Care Assurance Stations are installed in every patient room, for each patient. The Care Assurance Station enables caregivers to confirm care for that patient. The system calls the caregiver with the appropriate skillset to the room, identifying the patient need. Once the caregiver is in the room, simply by pressing the appropriate button, the system records the in-room response, and time of the response. Caregivers can also set reminder timers specific for the patient - for rounding, turns, pain re-assessments and vitals. Clinical Dashboards, installed at nurse stations can be used to send specific messaging to care team members, while also monitoring care of the entire unit. These alerts can be noted on hallway monitors and sent to phones assigned to caregivers.
For example, a Rounding alert will be sent to appropriate caregivers when the team has not been in the patient room in more than one-hour. It will also post on the Clinical Dashboard as a patient need.
- Equip care teams with the tools they need. Healthcare research firm Gartner indicates that a new care team collaboration ecosystem is on the horizon. Gartner recommends that healthcare organizations “improve care coordination and transitions of care by equipping care teams with mobile clinical communication and collaboration tools that interoperate with other core components of the care team collaboration ecosystem.”1 In addition, Gartner says, “Clinical communication and collaboration, interactive patient care, and alarms and notification systems have actively begun to assume nurse call responsibilities. Soon contact/call centers will begin to participate directly in this new care team collaboration IT ecosystem.” 2
The Amplion Solution: The Amplion Alert Care Assurance Platform combines next-generation nurse call, advanced messaging functionality and alarm management technology to help nurses coordinate care and optimize clinical workflow. Amplion also has the ability to partner with CC&C vendors to provide the communication linkages that connect caregivers.
- Use interoperable devices. “Interoperability” is a buzzword in healthcare right now, and for good reason. Patients are surrounded by multiple machines—ventilators, vital sign monitors, infusion pumps, etc. Unfortunately, they don’t communicate with one another, resulting in multiple bells and whistles and constant noise that’s grating to both patients and clinicians. Insisting on device interoperability in which those devices are interconnected can help diminish the cacophony.
The Amplion Solution: Alarm input devices are installed in patient rooms to support the clinical devices used on that unit, such as a pulse oximeter, or ventilator. Each alarm type is detected and communicated as a unique alert directly to the care team. The Amplion Alert Care Assurance Platform sends messages about the location and urgency of the alarm to the appropriate nurse or caregiver, helping care providers detect the origin and prioritize the urgency of the response.
The Amplion Alert Care Assurance Platform is changing the way hospitals deliver care by giving care teams the tools they need to meet patient needs. With the Amplion Alert Care Assurance Platform, care teams are able to better collaborate with one another to deliver high-quality, in-room patient care. If you want to know the cost of outdated technology to your hospital, staff and patient care, talk to one of our technical specialists today.
1 Gartner, “Innovation Insight for Care Team Collaboration,” Barry Runyon, 21 February 2018.