The rehabilitation unit at Saskatoon City Hospital is doing their best to try to keep patient falls to a minimum.

In the fall of 2010, the unit implemented a Falls Strategy.

“It was designed based on best practices from the Safer Health Care Now Falls Prevention toolkit, in response to accreditation safety requirements,” explained Marla Fieber, Manager of Interprofessional Practice.

The interprofessional team huddles

When a patient falls on the Rehab unit at Saskatoon City Hospital, the interprofessional team, the patient and their family, meets the next day to discuss the fall.

At the core of the Rehab falls strategy is the interprofessional team huddle. When a patient falls on Rehab, the team, made up of nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, the patient and their family, and a speech-language pathologist if required, meets the following day to discuss the fall.

The team seeks to determine root causes and implements fall prevention strategies based on the patient’s individual risk factors.

“The meeting ensures that everyone on the team is aware of the fall and can be involved in interventions to prevent further falls or injuries,” stated Dean Nahachewsky, Nurse Manager on the unit.

Some of the challenges the team has faced since implementing this strategy have included gaining consistent family participation, preventing repeat falls for patients with cognitive impairment, and coordinating the meeting including all team members with the patient.

The team is still working on tweaking their processes. Possible future plans include initiating an interdisciplinary meeting at admission, when individuals are identified as having a high risk of experiencing a fall.

“Identifying people at risk early would allow us to be more proactive in implementing fall and injury prevention strategies,” Fieber said.

This is an example of one unit taking the initiative to make things safer for their patients and families, which is what the entire Region is focusing on with the current Safer Every Day 90-day initiative.