Decrease Patient Falls by Measuring Nurse Rounding

By Chris Hermann

Patient falls are a serious problem, affecting between 700,000 and 1 million patients per year in American hospitals.[1] One of the primary reasons patients fall out of bed is that they haven’t been visited by a nurse in a while and they attempt to go to the bathroom by themselves.

Many hospitals have a policy that nurses should check on their patients once an hour. But is that happening? Until recently, it has been impossible to know when specific clinicians were visiting a particular patient room. But now, through our technology, clinical intervention data is easily captured and analyzed, making what was previously invisible…visible.

Below is real data from one of our hospital customers, showing visits to a patient’s room during one day shift. Nurses, Respiratory Therapists and other clinicians are badged with the Clean Hands – Safe Hands badge reel, which holds their credentials. Non-clinician visitors (family, friends, etc.) are unbadged.

Nurse Susan is the primary provider in charge of this patient. While she checked on this patient frequently, it wasn’t every hour. Here’s a summary:

In fact, Nurse Susan only visited this patient about half the time that she was supposed to. Now, this happens – nurses are compassionate and hard-working people who are often overworked and extremely busy. Nurse Susan shouldn’t be penalized – this may have been an unusual day where she had to spend a lot of time with a sicker patient. Or there may be workflow issues that can be resolved so Nurse Susan can work more efficiently.

Whatever the cause, it’s impossible for hospital management to find a solution when they don’t know when or where the problem is occurring. Now, by capturing clinical intervention data and watching for patterns where patients are checked on less frequently, it can be possible to reduce patient falls.

If you’d like to learn more about how our electronic hand hygiene reminder system decreases HAIs by over 60%, download our free white paper now. Or contact us so we can discuss your hospital’s specific needs.

This is part of a series about Making the Invisible Visible: Clinical Intervention Data.


[1] Preventing Falls in Hospitals. Content last reviewed July 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/systems/hospital/fallpxtoolkit/index.html

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