This action states

The health service organisation providing services to patients at risk of falls ensures that equipment, devices and tools are available to promote safe mobility and manage the risks of falls.

Intent

Patients are provided with equipment and devices to promote safe mobility and reduce harm from falls.

Reflective question

What equipment and devices are available for patients to prevent harm from falls or to manage patients who are at risk of falling?

Key tasks

  • Identify and facilitate access to the equipment and devices required for the organisation’s patient population.

  • Develop a log to register equipment and devices used in falls prevention and management, and record their maintenance.

Strategies for improvement

Hospitals

Adjust the environment in line with a patient’s risk profile and make equipment available for the patient to mitigate the risk of falling. This may include:

  • Adjusting chair and bed heights
  • Using lighting that is even and activated by sensors, particularly over stairs and at night
  • Providing slip-resistant surfaces
  • Providing well-maintained walking aids and wheelchairs
  • Reducing clutter and trip hazards around the patient
  • Cleaning up spills and urine promptly
  • Providing stable furniture for handholds
  • Ensuring effective brakes on beds, wheelchairs and commodes
  • Reducing the use of physical restraints
  • Placing call bells within reach.

Special equipment can include commodes, body protective equipment and appropriate footwear.

Recording and monitoring equipment and devices may include:

  • Evaluating previous equipment and device requirements and effectiveness
  • Determining the type and number of support devices the organisation may require, and options for access to the equipment
  • Scheduling routine maintenance and coordinating repairs to maximise the availability of equipment
  • Reviewing falls incident reports to evaluate the role that access to equipment played in the incident.

Day Procedure Services

Where the risk of falls or harm from falls is low, the need for equipment and devices will be limited.

Adjust the environment in line with the patient risk profile and make equipment available for the patient to reduce the risk of falling. This may include:

  • Adjusting chair and bed heights
  • Using lighting that is even and activated by sensors, particularly over stairs and at night
  • Providing slip-resistant surfaces
  • Providing well-maintained walking aids and wheelchairs
  • Reducing clutter and trip hazards around the patient
  • Cleaning up spills and urine promptly
  • Providing stable furniture for handholds
  • Ensuring effective brakes on beds, wheelchairs and commodes
  • Reducing the use of physical restraints
  • Placing call bells within reach.

Best-practice guidelines and guides for preventing falls and harm from falls in older people are available on the Falls prevention section of the website.

Refer to Action 1.29 for strategies to ensure that the built environment supports safe and high-quality care, and reflects the patient’s clinical needs.

Examples of evidence

Select only examples currently in use:

  • Inventories of equipment and audit of clinical use
  • Maintenance logs of equipment and devices
  • Policy documents about equipment procurement and provision
  • Documented systems for reviewing and procuring equipment and devices
  • Committee and meeting records that note responsibilities for evaluating the effectiveness of products, equipment and devices.

MPS & Small Hospitals

Identify, and facilitate access to, the equipment and devices required for the organisation’s patient population. Adjust the environment in line with a patient’s risk profile and make equipment available for the patient to reduce the risk of falling. This may include:

  • Adjusting chair and bed heights
  • Using lighting that is even and activated by sensors, especially over stairs and at night
  • Providing slip-resistant surfaces
  • Providing well-maintained walking aids and wheelchairs
  • Reducing clutter and trip hazards around the patient
  • Cleaning up spills and urine promptly
  • Providing stable furniture for handholds
  • Ensuring effective brakes on beds, wheelchairs and commodes
  • Reducing the use of physical restraints
  • Placing call bells within reach.

Special equipment can include commodes, body protective equipment and appropriate footwear.

Develop a log to register equipment and devices used in falls prevention and management, and record their maintenance. This may include:

  • Evaluating previous equipment and device requirements and effectiveness
  • Determining the type and number of support devices the organisation may require, and options for access to the equipment
  • Scheduling routine maintenance and coordinating repairs to maximise the availability of equipment
  • Reviewing falls incident reports to evaluate the role that access to equipment played in the incident.

Hospitals

Adjust the environment in line with a patient’s risk profile and make equipment available for the patient to mitigate the risk of falling. This may include:

  • Adjusting chair and bed heights
  • Using lighting that is even and activated by sensors, particularly over stairs and at night
  • Providing slip-resistant surfaces
  • Providing well-maintained walking aids and wheelchairs
  • Reducing clutter and trip hazards around the patient
  • Cleaning up spills and urine promptly
  • Providing stable furniture for handholds
  • Ensuring effective brakes on beds, wheelchairs and commodes
  • Reducing the use of physical restraints
  • Placing call bells within reach.

Special equipment can include commodes, body protective equipment and appropriate footwear.

Recording and monitoring equipment and devices may include:

  • Evaluating previous equipment and device requirements and effectiveness
  • Determining the type and number of support devices the organisation may require, and options for access to the equipment
  • Scheduling routine maintenance and coordinating repairs to maximise the availability of equipment
  • Reviewing falls incident reports to evaluate the role that access to equipment played in the incident.

Day Procedure Services

Where the risk of falls or harm from falls is low, the need for equipment and devices will be limited.

Adjust the environment in line with the patient risk profile and make equipment available for the patient to reduce the risk of falling. This may include:

  • Adjusting chair and bed heights
  • Using lighting that is even and activated by sensors, particularly over stairs and at night
  • Providing slip-resistant surfaces
  • Providing well-maintained walking aids and wheelchairs
  • Reducing clutter and trip hazards around the patient
  • Cleaning up spills and urine promptly
  • Providing stable furniture for handholds
  • Ensuring effective brakes on beds, wheelchairs and commodes
  • Reducing the use of physical restraints
  • Placing call bells within reach.

Best-practice guidelines and guides for preventing falls and harm from falls in older people are available on the Falls prevention section of the website.

Refer to Action 1.29 for strategies to ensure that the built environment supports safe and high-quality care, and reflects the patient’s clinical needs.

Examples of evidence

Select only examples currently in use:

  • Inventories of equipment and audit of clinical use
  • Maintenance logs of equipment and devices
  • Policy documents about equipment procurement and provision
  • Documented systems for reviewing and procuring equipment and devices
  • Committee and meeting records that note responsibilities for evaluating the effectiveness of products, equipment and devices.

MPS & Small Hospitals

Identify, and facilitate access to, the equipment and devices required for the organisation’s patient population. Adjust the environment in line with a patient’s risk profile and make equipment available for the patient to reduce the risk of falling. This may include:

  • Adjusting chair and bed heights
  • Using lighting that is even and activated by sensors, especially over stairs and at night
  • Providing slip-resistant surfaces
  • Providing well-maintained walking aids and wheelchairs
  • Reducing clutter and trip hazards around the patient
  • Cleaning up spills and urine promptly
  • Providing stable furniture for handholds
  • Ensuring effective brakes on beds, wheelchairs and commodes
  • Reducing the use of physical restraints
  • Placing call bells within reach.

Special equipment can include commodes, body protective equipment and appropriate footwear.

Develop a log to register equipment and devices used in falls prevention and management, and record their maintenance. This may include:

  • Evaluating previous equipment and device requirements and effectiveness
  • Determining the type and number of support devices the organisation may require, and options for access to the equipment
  • Scheduling routine maintenance and coordinating repairs to maximise the availability of equipment
  • Reviewing falls incident reports to evaluate the role that access to equipment played in the incident.