Waikato DHB to Launch Paediatric Falls Prevention Programme
24 September 2013
Waikato First DHB to Launch Paediatric Falls Prevention Programme
Patients in some of Waikato Hospital’s Waikids wards will soon be the first in the country to benefit from a falls prevention programme targeted specifically at children.
The Humpty Dumpty Falls Prevention Programme, which has been tried and tested successfully at Miami Children's Hospital in South Florida, aims to prevent children falling through identification of risk.
Under the programme, staff will work with parents and families to raise awareness of the risks of children falling and incurring harm whilst in hospital and the home.
“Eventually all paediatric patients in Waikato Hospital Waikids wards will be assessed for their risk of falling and families given an information booklet to raise awareness of fall prevention,” charge nurse manager Denise Bregmen-Hurst said.
Prior to now, no DHB in New Zealand has had a paediatric falls prevention programme.
“Adult fall prevention programmes exist and are used, but they haven’t addressed the range of development and differences within children,” Waikato DHB quality and patient safety coordinator Susan McHugh said.
Waikids staff will begin education on the programme this month and roll-out will begin in wards from October. Day of Surgery Admission and Waikids clinics and community areas will implement the programme as applicable.
“For children who are scored as ‘low risk’ of a fall, it’s about orientating them into the ward: do they need grip socks? Do they know how to push their bell? Is there clutter in the room to remove?
“For those who are at high risk of falling, it’s a little more complex. Are they in the appropriate bed? Do they need supervision, whether they need 1-1, or if we need to move them closer to the nurses’ station,” she said.
Denise said Waikids registered nurse Rebecca Wright demonstrated commitment and creativity by producing variations of the Miami Humpty Dumpty graphics.
“Humpty Dumpty graphics are placed on cots, beds and around the wards. We wanted a tool that is visible – that kids and families can see - that encourages people to ask questions and gives something for the nurses to engage with families,” Denise said.
“The graphics personalise the programme and spread the fall prevention message in a child-friendly way,” she said.
Last year there were seven reported patient falls on Ward 53 Waikids Medical and 10 on Ward E7 Waikids Surgery ward.
The programme is an integral component of Waikato DHB's Patient Safety programme and ties-in well with the Open for better care national patient safety campaign’s focus on reducing patient falls.
About Waikato District Health Board and Health Waikato:
Waikato DHB is responsible for planning, funding and providing quality health and disability support services for the 373,220 people living in the Waikato DHB region. It has an annual turnover of $1.2 billion and employs more than 6450 people.
Health Waikato is the DHB’s main provider of hospital and health services. It has six groups across five hospital sites, three primary birthing units, two continuing care facilities and 20 community bases offering a comprehensive range of primary, secondary and tertiary health services.
A wide range of independent providers deliver other Waikato DHB-funded health services - including primary health, pharmacies and community laboratories.