Purpose: Falls are a major safety issue in rehabilitation settings. Patients receive mixed messages-try to be as independent as possible, but don't do anything in your room without calling for assistance. Despite the use of multiple falls interventions at this facility, the fall rate remained high. To impact this rate, the facility implemented a video monitoring system. This system allows for patients at risk for falling to be monitored from a remote location. The monitor technician is able to speak to the patient directly and/or contact staff members to respond to the room, preventing a fall.
Design: Sequential cohort design.
Method: Fifteen video monitoring units were installed on high-risk units in a 115-bed inpatient rehabilitation facility. Total falls and falls rates were tracked and reported pre- and postimplementation.
Findings: Over a 21-month period prior to implementing the video monitoring system, the average hospital-wide rate of falls was 6.34 per 1,000 patient-days (SD = 1.7488). After a year of usage, that average has decreased to 5.099 falls per 1,000 patient-days (SD = 1.524). The reduction in falls was statistically significant. In addition, there have been significant cost savings by reducing sitter usage.
Conclusions: Video monitoring can improve patient safety by decreasing falls; decreasing sitter usage and cost; and improving patient, family, and staff satisfaction.
Clinical relevance: Falls are a significant issue in rehabilitation settings, and current fall prevention strategies fall short of reducing fall rates. Implementation of new video monitoring technology can help reduce fall rates in inpatient rehabilitation settings.