Archive September 2018 XIX, No. 9

Patient Safety: Priority One Protecting Patients

Houston Physicians' Hospital is committed to optimizing patient safety.

Mike Morsch

Mike Morsch, Associate Editor


Houston Physicians' Hospital
YELLOW CAUTION Houston Physicians' Hospital fits high fall-risk patients with yellow wristbands and yellow slip-resistant socks so all staff can easily identify them.
Award Winner

OR Excellence Award Winner

A patient once came into Houston Physicians' Hospital in Webster, Texas, and a pre-assessment testing nurse noticed that the man's arms and legs were covered with bruises.

"Tell me about those bruises, sir," the nurse said. "What's going on?"

"Well, I've been falling a lot lately," said the patient.

That got the nurse to thinking. The hospital didn't have a system in place to flag patients who were at high risk of falling. Soon thereafter, leadership started looking at the falls occurring in the hospital and discovered that there were 7 falls in 2017.

"Everybody started talking about why we were having so many falls. What was going on?" says Karen Acosta, MSN, RN, CNOR, director of surgical services at Houston Physicians' Hospital, the winner of the 2018 OR Excellence Award for Patient Safety.

Always concerned about patient safety, the hospital implemented a "Patient Fall Initiative" to identify those patients at risk of falling and developed a system to let all staff along the patient's journey know they were dealing with a patient who was likely to fall.

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