The High Number of Falls in Hospitals Every Year
In medical atmospheres, one would think that patients must surely be safe due to the physicians and medical attendants located throughout a facility. Unfortunately, the reality is that these medical professionals are often consumed with managing their own patient case file and often do not pay attention to the actual living conditions of patients. They may fail to notice dangerous walkways or broken doors that have the potential to cause major injury to patients. As a result, a patient may become injured and may have the right to file a negligence lawsuit against the hospital administration.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality indicates that approximately 700,000 to 1,000,000 falls occur within hospitals every year. Hospitals that fail to create a risk management plan may find that they experience a higher number of patient falls than hospitals that are proactive and take precautions to guard against patient falls.
Hospital administrations must recognize how vital it is to create a safe environment for patients. If an administration fails to carefully consider the layout and design of a facility, then patients may be at risk. In addition, the financial stability of a hospital could be at risk due to the increased number of negligence lawsuits that it may face as a result of patient falls.
Tips to Reduce the Number of Falls in Hospitals
Hospital administrations must be proactive in addressing ways in which they can redesign a facility if it has a poor layout. In addition, hospitals administrations should regularly engage in internal audits to determine repairs that must be made to doors, staircases or walkways. Here are some other tips that hospitals can consider to reduce the number of falls:
- Get the support of senior management to create a risk management plan.
- Invest in the repairs necessary for a safe facility.
- Educate staff members about the team responsibility that everyone has to supervise patients.
- Educate all members of the community about fall prevention best practices.
- Make any necessary repairs to broken stairwells or doors.
- Ensure that liquids are quickly cleaned off of floors.
- Ensure that caution signs are placed on floors that have just been cleaned.
These are some key ways in which a hospital can quickly improve its atmosphere and create a safer place for patients. Those hospitals that do not take the time to identify best practices will likely continue to experience a significant number of patient falls each year.
Injuries Caused by Falls
The injuries that patients can suffer as a result of falls can be devastating. Patients may receive injuries such as lacerations, bruises, blood clots, concussions or broken limbs as a result of falls. In addition, these injuries may impact other conditions that a patient already has. If a patient already suffers from high levels of anxiety or high blood pressure, he or she may suffer from a heart attack as a result of a startling fall. A patient who is suffering from depression may experience an intensified form of depression after breaking a limb due to a fall. Hospitals must be aware of the extreme risks that falls can pose to the health of patients.
Hospitals that fail to implement fall prevention practices may experience a high number of negligence lawsuits every year. These lawsuits can cost a hospital millions of dollars every year.
Patients Must Know Their Rights
Patients must be aware of the legal right that they have to receive treatment in a safe atmosphere. When a patient is injured due to then negligence of a hospital, he or she may have the right to claim damages. The patient will need to show that he or she has suffered an injury as a result of a fall. In addition, the patient will need to show that the hospital failed to meet its duty of care to provide a safe atmosphere for all patients.
Getting the Legal Help You Need
If you are a patient who has suffered a fall in a hospital, you may have the right to file a lawsuit against a hospital administration. A medical malpractice attorney can help assess whether your case meets the required elements for proving a negligence case. He or she can meet with you to provide an initial consultation for the potential claim that you may have. Feel free to call one of our medical malpractice attorneys to schedule a meeting today or to learn more about your legal rights.