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Environmental safety is essential for everyone whether it is in a neighborhood, workplace or institutional setting such as churches and recreational facilities. Safety encompasses a number of features depending on the anticipated danger. This report discusses the plan that is used in my facility. An outline of the plan is professionally mounted close to exits in the building. There are three of them. The master plan with details can be found in the administrators’ office. In this age of increased technology, measures are now being taken to have this plan posted on the organization’s website. Two accrediting organizations that list safety as a guideline are National Association of Safety Professionals (NASP) and Joint Commission International: Patient safety Acreditation.
One facility policy that focuses on the patient safety guideline identified above relates to falls. Risk of falling is one of the greatest hazards in any facility despite extensive building modification code enforcements. As such, apart from strict building code specification adherence, which was a requirement for licensing of the facility, management has established its own policy guideline pertaining to fall prevention for patients as well as employees. Slip and fall is a huge legal undertaking for which facilities can be sued by victims for large sums of money. Most falls occur in nursing homes and among people over 65 years of age.
My organization’s fall prevention policy encompasses evaluation of the environment, person’s condition and medication record. There is also a relationship of falls to restraining measures applied in keeping patients immobilized. This factor is accounted for in the policy blue print. Next, falls are also classified and defined in the policy document as it relates to the institution. Upon admission and transfer of patients, staff is expected to conduct a fall risk assessment, which is documented in their file. The Morse fall risk assessment scale is applied in this evaluation. In cases of long term patients the Hendrich Fall Risk Assessment is added to the fall risk assessment policy protocol. This policy was designed by an administrative team led by the Chief Executive officer (CEO). It was last updated in July 2014.
This safety plan/policy was gradually implemented by the facility through staff orientation workshops and dissemination of information to employees followed by forum discussions. Policy changes are communicated through memos. Updates can be viewed by all staff either in the computerized system or posted in the building in strategic places. Employees are kept current with the policy through the same strategy.
This policy plan has been very effective since its implementation two years ago. For example, the number of serious falls has been reduced by 50% and the overall falls’ rate in the institution has been immensely limited by approximately 25%. However, while it is commendable for this organization, the aim is to reduce falls by a minimum of 5%, which is possible. Once patients’ fall risk assessment is accurate they should not fall. One deficit, which exists in the policy, however, is a fall prevention team, which periodically re-evaluates interventions, make recommendation and ensure implementation of adjustments.
In concluding, a plan, as the leader, that can be implemented to ensure a falls’ team functions within the organization, is first identifying and building the team. This team must be given specific responsibility for evaluating fall occurrences during a certain period such as monthly or every three months depending on the observations. Recommendations must be made to administration. This ought to be followed by training sessions organized to update existing policy.
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