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PACU celebrates 1,000 days without a patient fall

PACU Staff

At Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, the interdisciplinary Falls Committee continues to work hard to identify key factors and tools in fall prevention. Interventions championed by the committee, such as purposeful rounding, orange non-slip socks, laminated fall TIPS posters and fall free calendars, have proven to be effective in reducing the number of patient falls in both inpatient and outpatient settings. One area where this work has proven to be particularly effective is the PACU where the staff recently celebrated their 1,000th consecutive day without a patient fall.

At the stroke of midnight on August 10, 2018, the PACU’s “Days Without A Fall” calendar indicated that the team had reached a major milestone―1,000 consecutive days without a fall. The PACU is the only unit at BWFH to have accomplished this task.

PACU staff nurse Ginny Ryan, MSN, RN, who also serves as a member of the Falls Committee and Chair of the Nursing Quality Committee, leads the charge to spread the word about best practices around fall prevention on her unit and couldn’t be more proud to have reached the 1,000-day mark without a fall.

“The patients under our care can receive several different medications while staying in the PACU. Every one of our patients is at risk for a fall and/or injury because of the amount of medications they receive. These medications include general anesthesia, spinal anesthesia, conscious sedation, peripheral nerve blocks and narcotics,” says Ryan. “Like every patient care area, we have systems in place to keep patients safe in our environment. We do postural vital sign checks before patients get off the stretcher and move to a chair. We have fall precautions for anyone with a nerve block. We use the buddy system for ambulation. And no one is left alone in the bathroom. We work as a team and always put the patients first. It’s a great place to work!”

The work being done to prevent falls in the PACU is the same work being done across the units at BWFH. Seeing the PACU reach 1,000 consecutive days without a patient fall is proof that the interventions work and that falls can be prevented.

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